Drivers call for stronger measures to tackle schools congestion
The first week of September can only mean one thing for motorists – the return of the rush hour congestion and hassle caused by the school run.
As schools across the country start a new year, a timely survey has revealed the strength of feelings on the issue – from both motorists and parents.
Two thirds of motorists are so fed up with the congestion caused by the school run that they believe stronger measures are needed to stop the problem. And one in three parents think parking around schools is so bad that police officers should be brought in to deal with it.
The majority of the 2000 drivers surveyed by vehicle remarketing company BCA want schools to create drop-off areas to tackle congestion and parking issues.
Children in danger
Child safety was a key concern for motorists; 44% had seen parents and children opening car doors and not looking at oncoming traffic and 35% had seen children getting out of cars on the roadside rather than pavement. However, less than 25% of motorists favoured speed restrictions to solve the problem.
Tim Naylor, Editor of the BCA Used Car Market Report says: "It's clear from our survey that the stresses of the school run are getting motorists hot under the collar. Driving in the rush hour is always stressful and the school run just adds to the congestion, with many motorists seeing parents and children taking what they perceive to be unnecessary risks.”
A personal view
What is it about the school run that brings out the worst in people? In the years that my children were at primary school, I’ve seen it all – from cars speeding past the school gates to double and triple-parking in drop-off zones. Horrifically, I even witnessed a child being knocked off his bike – thankfully without serious injury.
It’s a brave headteacher who tackles the culprits – they usually face a mouthful of abuse and the sad fact that nothing changes.
People living close to schools also suffer. There’s a popular grammar school at the end of my residential street – which means car-loads of students being bussed in by parents so focused on getting there on time that they are happy to fly over the speed bumps on the road, seemingly oblivious to the fact that their driving might be endangering other people’s children. A colleague has a similar dilemma, with legions of Chelsea tractors going past her door each weekday to a popular private school.
What’s the answer? Mine would be a radical one – make it mandatory to walk or cycle to school, or take public transport. Not only would it make the roads quieter, it would go a long way to tackling childhood obesity.