On School runs

So today I was riding back from the Leicester Royal Infirmary at about the time all the roads clog up with parents driving to school to collect their kids. Here is my experience of the traffic that causes:

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Horrible isn’t it. All those fumes and the frustration of not going anywhere. However, there are some things I am willing to put up with for the sake of others ­čÖé

This school run thing is strange. Are we bringing up the most unhealthy generation ever?

As one example, I was visiting someone recently. Both parents work from home. While I was with them their teenager phoned to say that it was raining and would they come and collect them from school. One parent had to stop work and drive to school.

However, they live less than a mile from that school. In addition there are short cuts for pedestrians. The school has a car park that is┬ácompletely┬áblocked up by cars at end of school as are the roads through the housing estate on the only way to that car park. The driving route is along the main road in Syston which is very busy with cars for the shops and school run with multiple pedestrian crossings to hold you up. I left before they got back and cycled home (did not notice any rain). Our son who walks from a school a similar distance away was already home when I got there. It wasn’t cold, if it rained it was brief and light. So instead of the teenager getting a little bit of healthy exercise the roads were snarled by another car, the route home was made more dangerous by another car and the whole process delayed them getting home.

Why do people do this? What a huge waste of time and money. It seems crazy spending time & money to do something that is slower, less healthy and far less social (surely nicer to walk a short way home and chat to your friends on the way).

In a town as small as Syston we should prohibit parking in and near the schools (and enforce it) except for residents. Those who come in from the villages around should have somewhere to drop off and collect but keep it some distance from the school to make it safer for those who can walk or cycle home. Keep the road and car park for school buses and transport for any disabled children. The whole town would benefit and so would the kids education (I have seen several studies showing that children who get exercise on the way to school are more alert and more able to learn).

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