CHAOTIC and dangerous, parking spaces outside school gates are no place for the faint-hearted.

Clearly, the problem is not confined to Essex. It has now been addressed at EU level by the grandly-named Institute for European Environmental Policy.

Despite its best efforts, the problem appears to have addled the institute's collective brains, prompting it to propose a solution which can most kindly be described as unrealistic.

The notion of a car-free zone around schools may seem attractive in theory, but the practical difficulties are obvious.

Who would police the scheme? Which budgets would be cut to fund it? What about disabled children or those who have no access to bus services? And how many teachers would meekly accept a ban on driving to work?

In short, the ban is yet another harebrained scheme of the kind in which the EU seems to specialise.

In the end, the school gate problem will be solved at the school gate.

The twice-daily vehicle scrum is already driving parents to find alternative solutions. Increasing numbers of families are devising other ways to get to school, such as the popular walking buses.

Brussels should accept the best solution is to leave people alone to organise their own lives.