"Crackdown" on the school run - andymc {P}
Article in today's Observer at observer.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,6903,10327...l

"Measures to be introduced include reducing the number of parking spaces outside schools and improvements to pedestrian crossings, cycle lanes and bus services to encourage other ways of getting to school."

Nice idea in principle, but what's the betting that the reduction in parking spaces outside schools is introduced long before the other elements of the scheme?
andymc
Crackdown? Are we criminals? - Alf
So the government expect us to let our kids out on their bicycles battling it out against juggernauts, buses, and god knows what else during the rush hour?

They will make improvements just like they have where I live.
It takes 50 mins to drive the 6 miles into town from our village. There is a perfectly good mainline train station in the village. Do any trains stop there despite lobbying by our MP? I'll leave you to work that one out!

I'm convinced that in their quest for revenue they will reduce parking outside schools so that they can fine more motorists.....not forgetting the £35 surcharge on every penalty. Should be a nice little earner.

Regards,

Alf
"Crackdown" on the school run - Welliesorter
I think the point is that much of the traffic that makes the roads dangerous for children is caused by school runs.

What happened to the plan to introduce American style yellow school buses? I seem to remember one of the big bus companies gaining a lot of publicity with this a year or two ago.
"Crackdown" on the school run" - DavidHM
Also, how many parents are going to be deterred by the prospect of maybe three parking fines a year (£150) when setting down their kids, compared to the risk/inconvenience of having them walk and/or get up earlier?

I don't think that the school run necessarily contributes anything to child welfare, but it's hard to look at this as anything other than a way to be seen to be doing something while the only beneficial effect, if you feel that it is that, is increased revenue from fines.
"Crack" on the school run" - StuW
With decrease in parking spaces outside schools, that usually means double yellows lines etc, which means the people who live by schools are going have parking for them and their guests severely reduced. No one seems to take into account the people who live by schools who are often severely affected by schemes like this all year round. I do think the school run definately be clamped down on, i've always wandered if most of the cars on the school run reset their trip meters i bet most of the cars would not have even travelled a mile.
Look how busy roads are on a week day in the morning on a school day and then compare how busy they are on a week day during rush hour in a school holiday.
The real problem is people are just too lazy, its not just school run and how many people use a car to go half a mile up the road or just up the road to the shops?
By the way i walked to school everyday!
"Crackdown" on the school run - Welliesorter
The real problem is people are just too lazy, its not
just school run and how many people use a car to
go half a mile up the road or just up the
road to the shops?


I find it far more hassle to drive a mile or so and find somewhere to park than to walk the same distance. I'll admit I'm an inexperienced driver but am I unusual in this attitude? Or is the habit of driving short distances so ingrained that people just don't think about it?
School runs - Rebecca {P}
Given that most children at state school will live in the catchment area, and that in urban areas the catchment areas are pretty small, there really should be more children walking to school. But some of the parents who drive their kids will then be going on to work themselves, possibly well out of the catchment area...so it's not always laziness.

Having said all that, when our Primary school took part in 'Walk to School Week' when there was a certificate on offer for each child that came to school on foot, or who got their parents to park in the local leisure centre car park and then walked the 6-7 minutes to the school gate, the roads outside school were deserted. Trouble was, the following Monday, everything was back to normal...
New term starts tomorrow ... - nwnw
... so the morning roads will once more be clogged with Range Rovers and all the other 4x4s taking the kids the 800 yards to school. Roll on the Xmas holidays !
School run - Andrew-T
If the parents round here are typical, reducing parking spaces won't help much: some of them seem to think the double lines to prohibit parking outside the school gate indicate a pick-up area for them to park on.
School run - nwnw
And who will be around to enforce the 'restricted parking' anyway ?
School run - neil
Well... "Safety" Cameras, obviously... I mean, they DO photograph people doing things that are unsafe, don't they? DON'T THEY??! ;-(
School run - PoloGirl
There is a school round the corner from me with double yellow lines outside. The parents know they can't park so they just stop and make their children get out and cross the road unaccompanied. It's only a matter of time before something horrible happens. I hate children, but I wouldn't want to see one squished!

School run - Thommo
To show how old I am, my school was 4 miles from my house and the local council offered the choice of a free bus pass OR a new bicycle every year! You got to sell the old one too!

Being from a relatively poor family a new bike every year was an unheard of luxury and well worth the cycle each day.

Incidentally I had to cycle down the main road (the old A45).

Nostalgia ain't what it used to be...
School run - cockle {P}
In our local paper this evening Essex County Council & Essex Police have announced that they will be targeting cars carrying children without seatbelts and 'other hazardous activities' when the children return to school later this week.
Whether this will help the situation remains to be seen but I frequently see cars with three, four, or even five children jumping around in the back seat on the school run, more often than not the driver is also on the phone.

My concern is that my sons are walking/riding their bikes to school using the same roads as these 'drivers'. It doesn't really matter that my sons are pretty well aware of traffic and road safety because some of these drivers have difficulty driving in a straight line let alone negotiating the dense traffic around schools. The fact that I and my family are sharing the same roads truly frightens me.

IMHO the sooner these things are clamped down on, the better. People might then start to realise that ALL road users have a responsibility to each other regardless of whether they are in a car, on a bike or walking; but I won't hold my breath.





Cockle
School run - HF
Well Essex County Council and Police have certainly got it right, Cockle. It sickens me when I see these cars carrying children without seatbelt, parent using phone, etc etc etc.

These drivers are, in my observation, those same ones who will park on the yellow zigzags outside the schools, or on the double yellows. They are also the ones who will leave small children unattended in the car whilst they spend half an hour gossiping with their mates.

They are incorrigible, and unless there was a way of having police presence outside every school at opening/closing times, I really don't see a way of educating these people.

HF
the school run - sean
Showing my age, I guess, but when I was a lad you had to go to the fairground to see the tattooed man and the fat lady.

Now, they're everywhere.

What sort of kids do fat ladies produce?

Why are they.....?
the school run - frostbite
Know what you mean Sean.

Would it be a worthwhile move to change the start time of schools to 9.30?

This would at least cut out the 'parents on way to work' school traffic, and move many others out of the worst of the rush-hour.
the school run - smokie
Excellent post Sean, I am going to use that quote elsewhere if I may... :-)
the school run - nick
Sean, did you pinch that from Joan Collins? Or do great minds think alike?
the school run - sean
Joan Collins was at the German Motor show last week, and I said that when she climbed into a Phaeton. How do you know this, please?
the school run - DavidHM
That was Joan Collins' closing line for her diary column in the Spectator on 16 August.

tinyurl.com/lvvk

Surely you're winding us up here Sean?
the school run - nick
Also reported in the Telegraph somewhere. Or maybe my spies are everywhere.....
the school run - sean
I can't find the comment there.

She was getting into a Phaeton at the Show, and needed to move the seat forward to the dangerous position just in front of the airbag.

There are very many photos of me helping her. I have a grey suit on, and it is left hand drive, so I am on her left.

Is this view here?
the school run - googolplex
I find this anti-school run rhetoric rather discriminatory. The fact is that ALL traffic has increased, not just going to schools but to all other local places of work. How many "office juniors" of old would have cycled or walked to work because they did not have cars? I reckon the same grade of worker will be as likely to drive nowadays. Schools are picked on because there is general clogging of the transport system during the "rush hour" and the general improvement during holidays makes people moan about the school run. Parents have as much right to use their cars as any other traveller.
So I would suggest that we should be looking to encourage ALL road users to switch to bikes etc where their journeys are relatively short. That affects all people who work in their own locality.
For starters, get going with more dedicated cycle routes. They are appearing but not nearly quickly enough.
And, just for the record, my son walks to school...
Splodgeface
the school run - Aprilia
Couple of solutions... ;-)

1. Massive tax hike on 4x4's - get the Mums into Pug. 106's instead; far more suitable for congested roads around schools.
2. Massive tax hike on company car personal usage - get the Dads into Pug. 106's (or Lupo's etc. etc.) far more appropriate since their is only usually one person in the car anyway.
the school run - r.fensome
The school run is many times neccecery. My children live 2.5 miles from their school and for the last four years have caught the school bus, now Norththamptonshire county council have decided that as they live under 3 miles from school, they can walk and won't let them travel on it. Not only that they have cut the bus out to save money. If they think i am letting an eight and ten year old walk five miles a day to school in the winter they can co-co, they now go in the car. They say they are trying to cut cars outside the school by crossings and masses of yellow lines, which perversley has had the opposite effect outside my school by having nowhere legal to stop parents are now stopping anywhere and taking the risk of getting caught, not that they do, they just don't stop if the police are there, and do if theyr'e not.
the school run - AN Other
Certainly notice the extra traffic now it's all started again though. How about more priority for pedestrians and cyclists in urban areas rather than automatic deferral to cars? Sensible transport policy, anyone?
the school run - mare
Point 2 is excellent, i used to own a Micra for the simple i drove myself on my own into Bristol every day. I needed a car as i had to visit several sites in a week and public transport was too much hassle. So the Micra was a good compromise as it was ecomonic and fitted into miniscule parking spaces. Now i ferry the kids to nursery (6 miles away and asking a 2 year old to walk is a bit much), I bought the Octavia.

Perhaps scooters/ mopeds would be even better. In Bristol they can use the bus lanes, for some reason i seem to recall that this doesn't happen elsewhere, could be mistaken though.
the school run - Aprilia
I agree that the school bus policies of many councils is madness. They are trying to save as much as possible on school transport and cutting services to the bone. Last year my son was on a bus (school 5 miles away) - this year he's not managed to get on, hence he has to be driven there and back (along twisting rural roads - not much fun in the winter).
Council are not obliged to provide transport because he had a 'choice' of two high schools - other school is just under 3 miles away - on that basis they refuse transport to any chosen school which is further away. Only found this out after he's started at the school, of course.
the school run - flatfour
Sorry but most of the children that attend my local primary school don't come from the catchment area! the local kids unless they have a brother or sister at the school they probably have to go 3 miles past our school to another, so while one mum comes 3 miles another goes in the other direction.

Reason. Nanny state says we can choose where we send our kids to school.

It didn't happed 20 years ago, we all went to our local school, and 90% of us were in walking distance, our mums paired us off with other older kids down the road, then we took their little brothers and sisters when we got older, this was a community, when we could all leave our keys in the car unlocked overnight and we didn't bother to lock or front door, because we didn't have anything worth nicking, but when your dad lost his job the neighbours shared what they had. We were pleased to go to the school we were sent to, we behaved ourselves, we weren't obese, we were fit, and we WALKED! aaah no school run.
the school run - Welliesorter
Reason. Nanny state says we can choose where we send our
kids to school.


I more or less agree with what you're saying but how does this make it a nanny state? Surely a nanny state tells people what to do.
the school run - jeds
My daughter travels 16 miles to her school. We chose it because the school 4 miles away is full of thugs and drug users. The school bus is £12.50 per week. We pay it.
the school run - Marcos{P}
I was listening to Nick Ferrari this morning on LBC ( I'm getting on a bit now) and they were discussing 4x4 use and wether or not they are more of a danger to pedestrians.
Most of the people who rang up were women with BMW X5's who said that their cars were less of a danger to a pedestrians than an average saloon car as they can see more and their cars are all fitted with parking sensors ( which would obviously help you to avoid hitting a pedestrian at 30mph).
The one thing that stuck in my mind was the fact than they all seemed to use their cars for the school run and that was about it, they didn't mention any other driving other than going to and from the school to get their children.
One lady said she would not let her 12yr old son walk to school because it was dangerous. The thing she hasn't worked out is that walking to school is only dangerous because of silly cows like herself hareing along to the damn school and then parking on the pavement so the children have to walk in the road to get round her car and subsequently get run over.

Sorry to rant but its one of my pet hates.
the school run - HF
Just like Jeds, I 'chose' to send my eldest to an out-of-borough secondary school because the only alternative offered to us was the local thugs' school. I pay around £700 per year in bus fees for the privilege. Certainly around here there is no choice as to which school one sends one's children to - it's either the closest (and that's if you happen to be in a catchment area at all) or you pay.

Anyway the school run starts tomorrow. I cannot wait.

I agree also with Marcos's points, and the antics outside schools annoy me just as much.

Please also though realise that there *are* a few exceptions to the rule, and that not every parent is in a position to walk the child to school, however local, and however much they would like to.

Tomorrow I will be driving my youngest the short distance to his primary school. I would love to walk with him; however as said above, in some cases there may be parents who just do not have the time due to work commitments, or perhaps even have some sort of disability which preclude them from doing so.

I concur heartily with all the anti-school run comments. I just want to point out that, despite appearances, there are some who genuinely do need to use their car.

HF
the school run - v0n
I don't agree with you gentlemen. I feel this fight with schoolmums is just another bogus topic to divert public mind from what really should be police issues and duties.
I don't have children, but I do have 10 years experience of living in London and I can count areas when I, personally would let my kid walk a mile to school, on fingers of one hand. Think Brixton, Hackney. Think Camden and Finsbury Park. Think hungry drunk junkies, vein piercers, glue sniffers, skin traders, hooded men, rednecks and prostitutes. I might not agree with it but I understand why people from Canada Water take their offspring on two mile tour to primary school in Bermondsey onboard a bulletproof 4x4 ghetto cruiser. It's the sign of times.
The school run - M.M
v0n,

I'd go even further and say the reason that folks take their kids to school in the car isn't the point. It is still a basic freedom to drive where/when you want.

So why do folks pick on the school run? There are better cases where people use their cars without regard to the "social harm".

Bank hols as mentioned elsewhere...huge levels of traffic caused by an excessive amount of folks going to the same places at the same time, often causing long delays and accidents. Perhaps folks with even house numbers should have outings on different days to those with odd numbers.

And what about the sales reps based in Peterborough covering East Anglia on a daily basis, and all belting along the same roads on the same days at excessive speed? Could they (4 in a group?) not meet up somewhere early am and share a speed limited car on an agreed route, park in each city and walk to their various clients?

And what about those that drive long distances at weekends to various club and social events just for their own indugence, that can't be right?

You see really all these trafic and motoring issues are not about *them* but *us*....collective thing.

Anyway some of the best social networking is done at the end of the school run...long may it continue.

M.M

using public transport for school runs - eMBe {P}
I am not anti-school-run Mums. I am not in to politics of envy. Let the Mums who can afford X5s use them exclusively for the 1 mile daily school-run. I don't see why I should judge them as not entitled to do so. Let them use a Reliant Robin, an X5, Ford Explorer, or an Artic, if they so wish.

As I said in another thread, >>> .... Unfortunately, hypocrites abound in the UK in all walks of life, and motorists are no exception. "Physician heal thyself" is something they never believe in. ...>>>. Some of the whingers above will be quite happy to boast that they drive at 100mph + on the M1.

My son takes the train, and the journey takes 1 hour door to door - if the train is on time. (2 trains every hour, if one is missed/cancelled, he is late and admonished). It costs £800 a year.

We live in a democracy. If the loonies want to discourage/stop school-runs, and you don't like it - simply vote them out.
using public transport for school runs - SR
Although I see no need for using a 4x4 for the school run, it's personal choice what type of vehicle people use.

Irrespective of the type of vehicle and the justification for using it (journey of a few miles), this doesn't excuse stopping on the yellow zig-zags. If the only reason they use the car is to avoid a walk of a few miles, surely a few yards wouldn't kill them, and it would contribute to others' safety.

This whole "crackdown" is just one of many examples where a rule that is designed to make life safer for all has been routinely ignored for so long that the authorities feel they have to find some new, radical method of control. The same applies to speed limits and the suggestion that satellite navigation systems will be used in future to control speed, plus congestion and road pricing to cover for the failure to persuade people out of their cars by providing a realistic alternative. As a result of some refusing to change their habits, we all end up paying a fortune. If they had just done something about enforcement before it got out of hand we'd all be better off.

Why not just enforce the existing laws - a few fines for those stopping outside schools or not belting their kids in would soon stop a lot of them! I know what I'd like to do to the guy I saw a few weeks ago driving along in an ageing Astra convertible with a child standing on the front seat holding onto the top of the windscreen!!
using public transport for school runs - flatfour
If you don't send your kids to the local school because of the "thugs" then this school will always remain a thugs school, to survive the educational system a school needs a cross section of the community, thats why some schools perform so badly, because they only get the "dross". Then they only get the worst teachers because the others won't go there and so the spiral goes on qand on and will unless we stop the school run.

End of political blurb!
using public transport for school runs - HF
Flatfour yes that is a good point - but I would not make my child the guinea-pig to cure this problem, as long as I had any choice whatsoever!

The way society has gone over several decades at least means that there are desirable and undesirable areas. The better areas tend to have the better schools. It's unfortunate but it's fact. The worst areas tend to be those with more of a thug/drug problem. Not exclusively, I know, but it does seem to be more prevalent in those places.

So by sending my children elsewhere, sure I am not helping to get rid of the problems/raise the standards in schools which are lacking - but I am also not willing to risk my kids' future whilst I have any choice whatsoever to send them elsewhere.

Yes it's a spiral but I hope my point makes sense!

using public transport for school runs - Alf
Education is not just for christmas. There is no way I would dream of sending my kids to a dross local school. My responsibility as a parent is to them to do the best I can for them, imagine how thankful they will be in later life if I chose to experiment with their education?. No thanks, the dross are welcome to the dross school, they made it dross. After all it takes dross parents to make dross kids, and I am not a dross parent. Harsh but true.

Regards,

Alf
using public transport for school runs - volvoman
Why do we need all these draconian measures, laws and procedures for combatting congestion (school run, holiday, rush hour), speeding, parking, etc. etc. etc?

Because we are all made far more ware of our rights than our responsibilities! Many people choose to exercise their rights without any care for the consequences or their responsibilities to society as a whole.

The truth is that if we all decide to exercise our right to drive everywhere, all of the time, those rights will ultimately be eroded to the point where we all lose out ! It's already happening and will continue to do so.

The only easy solution to all of these problems is for each of us to understand that if we wish to retain rights we currently take for granted and frankly abuse, we need to be far more responisble. So my message to you all is don't focus on anyone else's behaviour, look at your own. If each of us cut out the unnecessary car journeys and walked or used alternative means, the roads would be a lot nicer, pollution would decrease, stress would reduce etc. etc.
If we considered the plight of the person trying to exit a junction and just let them out, much congestion would be removed from our roads in an instant! No need for congestion charging etc.

Rights come with responsibiltiies attached and what I see is far to many people who appear to want one without the other.

Part of the problem is the way our cars are taxed which almost encourages usage. I'd like to see some incentives for people to use alternatives where these are available and where they're not, for alternatives to be made available.

So hands up folks - how many unecessary car journeys do you make for no other reason than the fact that the car is in the drive and ready to go?
using public transport for school runs - M.M
V,

As far as I view it a car relates to personal freedom and has done since I passed my test at 18 and bought a first car.

I will always fail your test....

So hands up folks - how many unecessary car journeys do you make for no other reason than the fact that the car is in the drive and ready to go?

...my hand is proudly held aloft.

No the real issue is the planning from our leaders over decades that has...

1) Not given us a decent network of roads on most popular routes.

2) Actually encouraged domestic and commercial development that makes car use essential.....ie building huge volumes of homes where everyone *has* to use a car to shop/work, also building out of town shopping areas that you *have* to drive to.

3) Encouraged a way of doing business where local offices are closed, employees are below the minimum level for given areas/tasks and so on. If you have to start somewhere (and I'm not fussed) I think poor business management puts a huge amount of vehicles over our road network every day with no good reason.

Anyway I chose to live in a rural area where safetee cameras, access charging, route charging and traffic jams are not an issue. That is a choice everyone has if they are that worried by the pressure a City environment brings.

M.M
using public transport for school runs - Mark (RLBS)
I completely agree with MM on this one.
using public transport for school runs - M.M
>>I completely agree with MM on this one.

Nearly a first eh?

You today, eMBe yesterday. I must be ready for a posh job at last!

Oh...and even the spelling of safetee?

;-)

M.M

using public transport for school runs - Fireball XL5
Junior has just started (private) school. We are a two car family (2 year old 320i for the wife and I have a 6 month old 320i). We will spend this weekend looking at 4WDs for the wife, I like the look of the Shogun but we will also look at the X5.
My wife has to drive 15 miles to my sons school and take the baby daughter as well and I want them to be in the safest vehicle possible which I believe to thbe a large 4WD. If people don't like it then tough you know what you can do.
As to those above who say that I should send them to a more local school then I say 'know way'! My son is in a class of 14 and is being taught well. Not in a class of 35 with all the state school oiks learning about gays and multiculturalism.
Let the socialists play with your kids minds if they want, but thankfully I can afford to buy my way out of it. You may not like it, but think on that in 15 years time he will be standing in front of your kids in the queu to get a good job.
Its a tough world out there and you have to do the best for your family. Thank god we still have freedom of choice in this country.
using public transport for school runs - M.M
XL5,

I have absolutely no problem with your decision to choose an alternative school, to travel of buy a 4WD.

However I do believe genius will out almost wherever.

Also your reasoning may be a little flawed.

The world of business is changing all the time and it is very likely the "state school oiks, gays and multicultural folks" as you put it *will* be the bosses. Ideal then for your son to attend school with these types so he will be more at ease taking orders from them in 30yrs time.

A broad social grounding is as important as education.

M.M


using public transport for school runs - Mr Potato Head
I enjoy driving my children to our local school.

I also enjoy the fact that there are no kids with wealthy badly adjusted parents in huge 4x4's blocking up the local roads, they are all on round trips (blocking up roads in other people's neighbourhoods) to over priced schools which do not prepare the children for life in the real world.

I enjoy freedom of choice, I also enjoy being wealthy and do not wish to waste money on frivolous items which do not enrich me or my family.

I enjoy knowing that money does not make you happy, nor does it buy you intangible's like a nice family.

I enjoy motoring.

MPH
----------------------
I drive a G Reg Sierra (less safe than a BMW). I send my kids to a local school and shop at Aldi.
using public transport for school runs - SR
I agree with much of what Volvoman says above, but take MM's points about situations where alternatives to car use are not available or practical. There are also situations where a journey is not practical by public transport even when it involves a route covered by same - e.g. for safety when transporting expensive/fragile goods.

I think the issue is more around large towns and cities where there are perfectly adequate public transport alternatives that are under-used for no real reason other than selfishness/laziness. The personal freedom for some people results in restriction of personal freedom for others, usually non-car users.

The problem with some rural areas such as those chosen by MM are that they may become viable alternatives for people driven off the motorways by road pricing. Why can't we keep the high-speed long-distance traffic where the infrastructure can cope with it?
using public transport for school runs - Snakey
Do you not get the feeling that, no matter what 'proposals' are discussed, this will simply end up being another smokescreen for some 'congestion' style charging while the public transport remains as poor as it is today?

using public transport for school runs - M.M
SR,

I still struggle with the notion of any car use being selfish. Given that a road network from one place to another has a certain comfortable capacity then how do we decide who these *extra* selfish motorists are?

Is it the social visitor, the company rep, the school run Mums, the shop/office workers, delivery drivers, near empty buses?

Or is it the wilful expansion of business/facilities we need to visit without the supporting roads?

Take your point about our rural location, we are reaslistic you can't live anywhere for 10 to 20 years and expect nothing to alter.

Funnily enough about once every three years our road is an alternative to a 4 lane motorway for local commuters "in the know" when there has been a major problem on the larger route. I'll happily forgive that for the fast local access we have 99.9% of the time.

Oh and bikers have a 100mph burst up here most weekends but I'm fine with that too, they seem more inclined to slow down for the 1/2 ton of flesh I'm leading up the verge than many other vehicle users.


M.M
"I care little what others do as long as *I'm* wearing the right jeans"
using public transport for school runs - SR
No, MM - it's the drivers who drive from their home, which is 5 minutes walk from the station, to the station to get the train; it's the drivers who are so desperate to park as close as possible to their destination they'll sit on yellow zig-zags, park on the pavement, park in spaces intended for disabled people (even going to the lengths of obtaining a fake blue badge to do so), park on roundabouts, in bus stops or wherever they like.

It could even be argued that any use of a car when there is a viable public transport alternative is selfish - if we really considered the benefits to the environment, other people, greater utilisation of the public transport we always condemn for being under-funded, less congestion, etc. - but then we don't always do that as we rate our own convenience more highly. Doesn't that fall into a possible definition of selfish? It's all about degrees.

Anyway, as I said already, I have no problem with car use if it's done responsibly, with consideration for others, and where there is no viable alternative, either due to geography or numbers of people involved (public transport being less economic for families). I happen to think you should be able to enjoy your rural location without it changing beyond recognition.
using public transport for school runs - pdc {P}
Well I for one want to get the most use out of natures limited oil resource before it's all gone, and we are all back to riding bikes to work in the towns that all business has now re-centralised to.
using public transport for school runs - volvoman
That's why I never have and probably never will say 'ban cars' MM. Yes there are plenty of occasions on which cars are essential and necessary and that's why I also suggested that alternatives had to be made available.

When my son was taken seriously ill 3 weeks ago I would hardly have chosen to wait for a bus to take me to resuscitation room would I. Equally, when I need to buy lots of shopping I use the car. When I need to shift large items I do so too. I really don't know why anyone should think any of that makes me anti-car. All I'm trying to suggest is that if WE ALL took a look at the journeys we make by car most of us would see that we could do things differently, either by using other means or by better organising ourselves so that certain trips aren't necessary. As for those who say having a car is a right or about personal freedom - please show me whch of the Commandments sets that out in stone. We have no absolute rights and many of those we are lucky enough to take for granted now we are only able to do so at the expense of future generations. So buy as many cars as you can afford and drive them all at the same time if you wish but realise that someone else is ultimately paying the price - your children for example. Yes we could build more and more roads to faciltate our obsession with movement on 4 wheels but who'd want that new road near their large detached house with drive and several large cars on it. Will that person still demand and defend the absolute right to drive when the value of their property has been halved due to the a proposed new road? I think not!

Kidding yourself into believing that problems such as these only affect townies is just as stupid and shortsighted as the view that the Stock Market collapse only affected fat cat directors and champagne guzzling stockbrokers! If things continue the way they are we'll all lose our freedom to drive when/where we like. When you want to drive from your contry retreat to that shopping centre you'll be forced to park miles away and get on a bus!

Those who argue for total freedom in these matters really are playing into the hands of the environmentalists and extremists who'd like us to return to the Stone Age. I don't want that and have decided that if I can make a few journeys by bus, train or on foot I will. I do this every day and I'm proud to be making a small contribution. That's all that's required isn't it - a relatively small contribution from all of us which would add up to a lot - free up roads, save money, save resources, improve the environment, improve our health etc. etc. etc.

I really can't understand the mindset of those who are only happy when they can do what they like, when they like, how they like. Many of these same people complain loudly when the rights of others start to impinge on their lives but seem oblivious to the fact that they've been selfishly doing the same to others for years!

Make a choice people, act responsibly or let the state decide for you and lose your freedom !
using public transport for school runs - Baskerville
My view on why people drive when they shouldn't is a combination of M.M's and VMs. In other words I think people should think more carefully about what journeys they use the car for, partly because it isn't always the best way of making that journey and partly because if everyone exercises their choice completely thoughtlessly then we will have permanent congestion as VM says. But as MM points out we have built developments that are accessible only by car. I think that was a huge mistake, done largely because it was cheaper for the large corporations operating from those developments--they realised that by doing it that way they could cut their costs, but the effect was really only to shift the costs involved in city centre sites onto us through the extra fuel we buy, vehicle wear and tear and so on. We were suckered into that one and we continue to be suckered into it.

So back to the thread subject. When there was no choice in where one's kids went to school schools tended to be more mixed. Now they are separating into schools for those who can afford to live near them/travel to them and figure out some way of wangling it and schools for those who can't. I work a bit in higher education and I agree genius will out, often quite late in life. I also find that the kids from mixed backgrounds tend to be more open to new ideas and the most competent socially; if I were an employer it's them I'd pick not the one-track "too posh to talk" types (though if I was looking for drones...). (Incidentally statistics gathered by Oxford University show in fact that if you take two kids with the same A-levels, one from a private school and one from a state school, the state school kid will on average do better at university.) But we've been fed this line about more choice (in the case of education it is a choice about which few people can make a truly informed decision), which makes us more anxious and more willing to put ourselves out by travelling unfeasible distances in ever bigger, "safer" cars (the large corporations that encourage this are of course just looking after our freedom). Yet all it does is create more traffic, more congestion and thus less, not more, freedom--and the corporations will no doubt find ways around that problem, for a price. Suckers is what we are.
using public transport for school runs - Bromptonaut
As they said in the war (or so my dad told me):

Is your journey really necessary.

 

Value my car