Last May, PetrolPrices wrote about how clean air campaigners wanted to ban the car-based school run. With figures showing that a quarter of all cars are on our roads during school drop-off and collection times, a new plan to reduce air pollution—and defend children against poisonous vehicle-related fumes—will now fine parents who drive their children to school.
Hundreds of head teachers are piloting schemes to stop drivers pulling up to the school gates, with £50 fines and even penalties leading to points on their licences for those who snub the ban.
Public health emergency
Schools in Hackney, East London and in Southampton, banned parents from parking at their school entrances just before Christmas, and thousands of other schools are preparing to join the pilot. While the scheme is voluntary at present, campaigners are calling for the ban to become mandatory at all schools and nurseries—something that the almost 2,000 schools and nurseries in areas with dangerous levels of air pollution will welcome.
To help transition parents and children from car to foot, various initiatives are taking place, such as, ‘park and stride’ schemes and the temporary closing of roads.
Some schools are going further to deliver their message, with schoolchildren handing out fake tickets to parents who arrive in cars and others even taking part in ‘playing dead’ protests. Police officers in Solihull, West Midlands are helping the cause by issuing fines to motorists who don’t follow the ban.
While the changes to the school run may anger many time-challenged parents, one cannot dispute the evidence showing the detrimental effect traffic pollution has on our health.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has described air pollution as a ‘public health emergency’ and their latest figures attribute 4.2 million deaths worldwide every year to ambient air pollution with around 40,000 premature deaths in the UK each year.
The European Environment Agency (EEA) Executive Director Hans Bruyninckx described air pollution as ‘an invisible killer’ and explained that road transport emissions are often more dangerous than those from other sources, as they occur at ground level and in cities, near people. Experts say children are more at risk from pollution because toxins stay inside their bodies longer, and that a ban on parents sitting in their cars at the school gates would have a significant effect on reducing children’s exposure to pollution.
Experts know the level of air pollution to be a major risk factor for childhood asthma. In 2017, 1,320 people died of asthma in England and Wales—a 25% rise in one decade.
Alison Cook, Director of Policy and Communications for the British Lung Foundation, said:
“Toxic air is linked to asthma and chronic chest problems, and damage to the lungs in early age is irreversible.
“That’s why illegal levels of pollution around schools is hugely worrying.
“Banning cars from school gates will help reduce pollution in classrooms, but this is just a drop in the ocean. Action on [a] local and national level is needed to help people move to cleaner forms of transport such as walking, cycling and public transport.”
In February 2013, Rosamund Adoo-Kissi-Debrah’s nine-year-old daughter Ella died from an asthma attack.
Ms Kissi-Debrah says the high levels of air pollution where they lived and where Ella went to school, were to blame. The family lived next to one of London’s busiest roads 25 metres from the South Circular Road in Lewisham, South East London.
After Professor Stephen Holgate found spikes in air pollution corresponded with Ella’s 27 asthma-induced hospitalisations episodes, Rosamund campaigned hard and now has approval for a second inquest into her daughter’s death. If conclusive, Ms Kissi-Debrah wants air pollution added to the death certificate. If this happens, it will be the first time air pollution has appeared on a death certificate.
Last year we wrote about the Mayor of London’s plan to reduce vehicle emissions across the capital, by introducing a 24-hour Central London Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) this April.
Earlier this month, Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan spoke about his new green fund to help schools fight toxic air with ‘pollution barriers’ in the playground.
Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said:
“It is unacceptable that our filthy air is affecting the lung growth and respiratory health of our young children, especially those who go to school by busy, polluted roads.
“My funding will help create much needed new spaces for communities to enjoy and help reduce toxic pollution with green barriers in and around schools to protect our children from polluted air.”
‘Just get out and walk’
Many are worried that banning the school run as we know it will only shift the problem elsewhere, but as Jenny Wiles from the walking charity Living Streets said last summer; an awful lot of families live close enough to school to walk the whole way and so where possible they encourage people to ‘just get out and walk and solve the problem completely’.
Some parents might even consider applying for their pre-school children to go to their most local school, negating the need for a car to get there. For those children who live too far from their schools to walk or those in rural areas, free transport is often available.
One thing looks certain; if parents and caregivers don’t make changes to lessen the traffic pollution around schools, somebody else will and the consequences for not complying with the rules could get expensive.
What do you think about the ban on driving children to the school gates? Is it necessary? Are parents time-pressed or lazy? Tell us your views in the comments.
Makes perfect sense and would also have benefits to local traffic too; schools are often on tiny side streets which are not suitable for the amount of traffic.
One point though: I hope they’re excluding fully electric cars from the ban / fine as any encouragement for people to move to EVs would be a positive thing for air quality and the environment generally.
Would it though? Where does the electricity for your EV come from? Oh it’s a coal fired power station burning fossil fuels. EVs are not as environmentally friendly as they’d have you believe, unless you can get it powered by solar or other renewable sources.
CityGent at the moment there are 7 coal fired stations left and several use biomass as well as coal. Some are to be converted to gas which burns a lot cleaner. They are all to be closed or converted by 2025. High end EVs allow you to charge your car for free and most of those charging stations use renewable sources of power.
Would these be the same EV’s the government want us to drive to save the world, same kind of trick they pulled with diesel cars a good few decades back now they are the spawn of the devil, or are they?
According to independent surveys they are no where near as polluting as the government wants us to believe, would this be another government miss truth I wonder.
As for walking children to school I am afraid those days are long gone no one has time anymore to wander along to school with the children, we live in a flat out world now where time is running out from the second you open your eyes in the morning you are already behind time, most of us haven’t even got time for leisure activities these days and if we have we are usually to mentally tired to participate.
This is world WE have created, we want more money, we want better phones/cars/houses & holidays we want fast internet so we can bet more and watch films on the move, we don’t want high street shopping it takes to long we want retail parks and online shopping, we don’t want to queue we don’t have time for that rubbish instant payments we are all even contactless now so we don’t have to waste time putting a pin number in not a second to lose just touch the device with your card and off we rush but we are also massively paranoid, cameras everywhere now on streets, in cars, in houses and even door bells with cameras now, we have millions of friends on Facebook all over the world but have no idea what your next door neighbours name is or what they do for a living, we shout at our phones as it to hard to hold it to your ear for hours but we can’t talk to the person standing next to us but we can glare at that person for “listening in” on your private conversation that you shouting at your phone. children are pre programmed now not to play outside as perverts are going to snatch, kill or rape them, instead they watch porn on there mobile devices or play “shoot em up”games in their bedrooms where they kill other people on line or zombies, steal cars or go into graphic battle as solders!!!!!
AS said this is the WORLD we created by demand, and now we think people have time to meander to school with their children.
Its not just cars that destroy air quality, but the drivers of these cars are the easiest to charge., although saving the environment is a good thing it always boils down to charging people money, the great environmental tax.
While no doubt well intentioned, this is a naïve concept by politicians who have no children of school age. I live ½ mile from the nearest main road bus stop and the school is also about ½ mile from the nearest bus stop. How are my children going to cope with carrying school books/homework, a sports bag (on certain days) and a musical instrument (on certain days, sometimes on the same day as the sports bag)? Factor-in wet days and the prospect of a sodden child arriving at school or back home is a non-starter.
didn’t hear any of my school mates complaining its why we have legs , and we never had school closures when there was a dusting of snow,
Are you for real??? How do you think children managed back in the days before school drop offs? We lived to tell the tale and turned out to be conscientious citizens. There are far too many mamby-pamby parents who molly-coddle their children these days. If parents are concerned about the heavy loads that need to be carried into school, walk with them and help carry their recorder. Get out of bed a little earlier and enjoy the fresh air. It would also help reduce obesity and type 2 diabetes. Children need to learn about real life in readiness for adult hood. Get them a good waterproof coat and suitable footwear. The walk will do them good. By the way; lots of politicians have children of school age…
I think you can now get waterproof clothing like macs, hats and boots.
I would welcome the ban… the impact of walking to school has even more benefits to health apart from lower pollution such as improved exercise levels.
Quote “Action on [a] local and national level is needed to help people move to cleaner forms of transport such as walking, cycling and public transport.”
Public transport is not a cleaner form of transport nor is it always an alternative!
.Firstly, buses are one of the most polluting vehicles on our roads today. Secondly, not everyone lives within walking distance of a bus stop and finally, not all schools are on or near bus routes AND that’s before you include the inclement weather factor.
This will just move the problem from the school gates into the local neighbourhood – in many cases this already happens. How many school staff set the example and leave cars at home?
Inclement weather …..FFS
Yes it IS necessary, walking to school never did me any harm and at present it is impossible to go past a school at opening or kicking out time because of idiots that do not seem able to park properly, they would rather just dump their car in the middle of the road
“In my day…” Well equally so, going to school by car never did me any harm either.
How far was your school from your house CityGent?
about time , im sick to death of all the cars outside my house at school times , parking over drives etc, i walked and took the bus to school as did most of the older generation, kids are mollycoddled now as for bristol lad , the idiot that posted the message above saying the kids might get wet in the rain ?, seriously ?, you not heard of a coat and hood ?, and what … cant your kids walk half a mile ?, think of the exercise they will be getting.. and the discipline of getting up early to get in on time.. or maybe the fact is you have given into them like so many parents these days.. and they demand a lift because they cannot get off their backside !!
You did realise there was a school there when you moved into the house?
Yes I did, but didn’t realise parents would completely ignore residents rights to exit their properties, without having to wait until little Johnny is comfortable in Mummy’s flash car.
Anybody who parks across a driveway and is blocking in and stopping a vehicle from exiting the driveway is committing a criminal offence, it is not a criminal offence if there is no vehicle parked on the driveway.
What if my vehicle is in my garage and not my drive, these parents can’t see into my garage but are still blocking my drive so it should be illegal to block my drive at all times.
They don’t just block drives where I live it’s a dead end and they totally block the entrance.
If you say anything you get a load of fowl mouthed abuse.
Fowl mouthed abuse, eh? Confirming my suspicions that many motorists are bird brained, especially when it comes to parking.
Can of brake fluid usually deters people from parking where they shouldn’ t
Robert Thomas endorsing or encouraging vandalism isn’t the best solution I’ve read on here. It just takes you down to the level of a criminal.
I had someone park on my drive, and refuse to move. Got a ladder out, climbed up and cleared the gutter. There’s a lot of rubbish in them when you have a 75-foot Wellingtonia in your garden Got to drop it somewhere…
I’d just block them in and leave them for a while – they wouldn’t do it again
When ALL else fails, sometimes it’s the only way…
it is a an offence to park across a drive at any time, what about the person who lives there and works at night then comes home only to find he/she can not get on to their drive.
You are wrong Brian it is only an offence to block a car in unfortunately, If someone parks over your drive when you are out there is nothing you can do about it.
Yes you can if they are parked in over the drop curb that you have to cross to get in and out of you drive, as my sister was told this by a police officer, who also told her that she could not park over it either, even though it was her drop curb access. You can cross over it but you cannot park on it.
That’s correct Rob. It’s only an offence to prevent entry to the queen’s highway not to prevent leaving it.
No right of access , only egress – but that’s what a tow rope is for
“it is not a criminal offence if there is no vehicle parked on the driveway.”
Not quite right. the drop kerb would have had to have a licence to be put there, that licence allows the owner of the property to access the property across the footway, this in fact means that you the owner have right of access, your car may not be on the drive which means you are out when you return you right of access sis being denied, you don’t even have to be across the drop kerb you just need to be over the kerb that is slopped and this is classed and denial of access, however people can actually park on your drive, this is not denial of access as it is not public land/highway, this is trespass instead as this car is parked on your land without your invitation so classed as trespass.
Try getting plod to come and right a ticket though, good luck on that, I tried and it took them 4 hours to get there, of course the car had gone by then and plod grumbled about wasting time, typical but I suppose its no different to me reporting flash lights in the house opposite when the owners where in Spain, plod finally arrived the next morning and said there is nobody in the house now… really can’t understand why robbers didn’t wait till morning for plod, not really fair is it.
Did you also know if a car on the road stays in the same spot for over 72 hours it can be classed as abandoned, taxed or not. sure plod will rush out to that aswell
It’s a criminal offence to stop somebody exiting from the highway to their property, and a civil matter if they cannot join the highway from their property
Wrong Robert it is the other way round my brother is a traffic cop and we was talking about this not long ago.
And what about those who are attempting to return home to find some ignoramus parked in front of their home blocking access to their property?
If no car in the driveway park in the driveway as it’s not an offence, ask the gypsies. The owner has to apply through a civil court to remove you.
It is an offence to block a dropped kerb (ie a lawful driveway) to prevent a vehicle leaving the premises. It is not a specific offence to block a dropped kerb that simply prevents entry to the property.
No. It is an offence to park blocking a dropped kerb. The offence is the same whether there is a car in a driveway or not or even if there is no driveway – dropped kerb are deemed to also be access to the footway for the disabled etc. check your Highway Code.
don’t bother with gates get a secure parking post or two put in and make sure it in place before you drive away, I have. simples!!
Parking next to a dropped kerb is illegal. Most drives have a dropped kerb. This is not affected by whether there is or isn’t a car in the drive.
Rubbish, if you are blocking access in or out it is a criminal offence.
Civil , not criminal
Civil , not criminal
Add to that its an offence to park across a dropped curb and to obstruct access to properties
The school was built after I moved in and at first the children were bussed to school so no cars.
When I moved in (40 yards from a school) but there were about a dozen cars a day bringing kids. Now, Mummy in her jim jams can drive to school, but she can’t walk. The majority of the people who bring their sprogs to school spend more time getting them in and out of the car than they do driving.
There was not a school where I live, on the only route off the estate. It is really bad and hard to get past it all, and we were not asked or consulted about the school being built so not given the choice to object. I am angry about it and it was built right opposite a pub too. Very wrong on every level in my book. Back to the point, I walked to school and my kids and I walked to school always. Bone idle is what it is.
Delivering the kids to school is a just in time delivery on the way to work much the same as picking up a newspaper on the way, I used to have to bike 4 miles or catch a 2 buses
But you cant rely on Buses…. and one everyone is forced onto buses how high and how often would you expect the fare increases to be????
You can, a school bus, when I went in the 80s and my brother in the early 90s, our school had 3 bus’s 1 from out Preston way, 1 for chorley, 1for croston and out laying villages. Only school kids could use them an they only went to one school. Happens at most high schools in Lancashire. We just walked or cycled like may of our mates did. Not many in cars, only one lad I remember, butler used to drop him in a roller, only in winter mind, he cycled in good weather 8 miles.
When a new school opened about a quarter of a mile away, my quiet cul de sac road has become the car park of choice for staff and parents. They park on grass verges, across my drive and double park both sides of the road. Parents park then walk their kids to the school. The school itself seemingly doesn’t have enough parking for staff and the scheme to allow parents to drop off causes traffic havoc and gridlock in the road around.
I HAD TO WALK 2 MILES TO MY PRIMARY SCOOL IN THE 1950’S WITHOUT ANY ALTERNATIVE WAY OF GETTING SCHOOL WHATEVER THE WEATHER. THE ONLY EXCUSE FOR TAKING A CHILD TO SCHOOL WOULD BE FOR A DISABILITY WHERE THE CHILD COULD NOT WALK THE DISTANCE.
I used to walk 2 miles to school when I was a teenager! btw, I’m not even an olde. I’m 23.
I lived in London at the time and had access to a reliable bus route. But I preferred walking. I did occasionally get a lift from a friends parent, but that was very rare. Like the odd time you genuinely just wake up late.
I grew up in a town and walked to school . Now I live in the country – my son will not be walking 5 miles down a busy A road with no footpaths , no street lighting , no public transport and where several pedestrians and cyclists have been killed .
These parents are totally stupid, selfish individuals and whatever punishment is visited upon them is merited – especially when they are harming their own and other people’s children. You are right that their kids would benefit from exercise, lack of mollycoddling, a bit of exposure to British weather etc. Pity the kids! Hell mend the parents!
Why use an American photo?
Because we don’t have school buses?
We have School Busses in Salford run by First Bus which are annoyingly painted yellow to look like an American Bus instead choosing a bright colour of our own.
It’s silly to paint buses yellow and then call them “school buses”. The school buses in America are more than simply yellow. They have seatbelts, conductors to make sure the kids remain seated and there are laws prohibiting overtaking a stationary school bus. All sensible points that sadly most of our “school” buses lack.
James, in rural Norfolk we do have designated school buses. We have to be very aware of children on mobile phones getting off the bus then walking round the front of the bus without looking out for trafffic.
I do agree it is silly to show an American photo of the school bus though.
Whilst this is a good idea & pollution is something that needs to be tackled, I agree with Bristol_Lad in that not everyone actually can walk to school. I live in a rural area – no bus stop within walking distance, no street lights and no footpath. It is not an option to not use the car. I could not park near the school & walk the last part but that’s not the desired effect as I’d still be using the car, adding to pollution. I’m just saying it’s not possibly for some.
When these people keep saying there’s not a bus stop within walking distance, is that round the corner or a mile away. As many are saying , we all use to walk to and from school, 5, yes FIVE miles a day all year round, rain or snow .
Well my son won’t be walking five miles down a busy A road with no footpaths or street lighting and where at least one pedestrian and two cyclists have been killed over the last five years .
Driving within a mile of the school is better than driving all the way. The pollution and traffic build up would be reduced and your child would benefit from a short walk (in fresh air). There will always be people who chose not to send their children to the nearest school or those who live in rural areas. However, every car driving parent should be making some effort to reduce the pollution and damage caused to children’s health.
I have personally witnessed parents bundle their children into a car then quite literally drive a couple of hundred yards to the school gates. Not only did it take them probably twice as long as walking but the car would come no where near to warming up and be at it’s most polluting and this parent was by no means a solitary example. The situation escalated to the point where residents around the school blockaded the roads themselves to stop the mindless and utterly selfish parking that made everyone’s lives a misery. By contrast if I was fair weather I made the one mile journey to the same school by bike, even in winter and if a car journey was necessary parked away from the school. There are far too many bone idle parents doing a school run and creating misery for anyone’s living nearby. I now live in a very rural area and appreciate it is more difficult due to the remoteness of some communities from their schools especially now due to school closures but then get together with other parents and share the transporting of your kids to school on a rota instead of one cr one child or put them on a local school bus service. Our local council charge £1.70 a day. Surely better than a needless car journey!
Unfortunately bus services are so unreliable kids would be late half the times. I don’t agree with banning the school run, per se, but a clampdown on bad parking with tickets etc would solve a lot of the problems.
I agree.. some bad apple parents shouldn’t speak for the respectable parents who can park sensibly.
About time too !Most children have learnt to walk and it’s time some parents remembered they too can walk as well
Parents take children to school to protect them from various dangers. If a child is left to make the journey alone, they could get knocked over crossing roads. Also with child molesters around who knows what would happen. They could by grabbed and bundled into a vehicle with nobody to protect them. We cannot say parents are lazy as this does not come into it. If they live close to the school then fine, but if they don’t a vehicle is essential. Paedafiles use buses as well.
Are taxis going to be banned as well? I doubt it. Safety of children comes first and walking to school still lets the child breath in fumes from passing cars anyway. This is more dangerous than riding in their parent’s cars which have interior pollen filters for this reason. I repeat interior pollen filters. Don’t expose children to the unbalanced people roaming our streets. Stop this scheme now, and safeguard the children. I would never let a child of mine make a dangerous journey like this alone.
Pollen filters do not filter out car emissions… They are called a pollen filter for a reason. Pollen particles are quite large in comparison to a car emission particles and these filters are not fine enough to filter these out. It might remove soot particles, but it will never remove Carbon Monoxide, NOx and the like.
Also, the kids would be breathing in less emissions on their walk to school of there were less cars on the road. Its not about the cars that pass them as they are walking, its the general traffic in the overall area that is affecting how much they breath in.
These are just excuses made by lazy, can’t be bothered parents. There are no more child molesters about than there were back in the days before school drop offs. However, there are far more safe crossing points i.e. pelican crossings, zebra crossings than their used to be. A lot of schools also organise walking groups. Parents could also walk with their children to the school gates (in the fresh air) . For some that would also help reduce obesity and type 2 diabetes. Just get out of bed earlier to allow for the extra time needed. Families that live in rural areas could drive some of the way and drop off their children about a mile from the school. Stop being part of the problem and start being part of the solution…
I can’t believe this. Makes you wonder how we all survived before this became fashionable
How can police hand out fines for a ban on parking made by a headteacher? Especially when you also say the ban is currently voluntary. I suspect whoever wrote this piece didn’t check the facts too carefully.
I don’t know, police don’t usually allow minor inconveniences like ignorance of the law get in the way of their arrogance.
Surely many parents are dropping off on their way to work themselves
That may be so. However, it would be far better if parents dropped off their children at a suitable place on route about a mile from the school. The children would also benefit from a healthy walk in the fresh air. Likewise, on the home run, arrange to collect the children from somewhere near a bus stop (about a mile from the school). It’s not so difficult really. The stumbling block is the lazy minded (entitled) attitude of some parents.
You’re just moving the pollution from one area to another.
Most parents drive their children to school for peace of mind and security. Would you let a ten year old walk on his/her own for a mile? What happens if I’m caught in traffic back from work ? The child becomes a target waiting on a bus stop for 10/15 minutes, but will be safe at school waiting for mum. Years ago the streets were safer, you could cycle on the pavement, less crime, less cars, less people and children were streetwise.
The only time I go to school in the car is when I have to be at work at 9.30 (which is a 30min drive) and is once a week. How does that work in my case!? I will end up losing my job if constantly late!
Simple. Drop them off somewhere on route. It doesn’t have to be right outside the school. Let them walk some of the way (in fresh air).
Where does this ‘fresh air’ you refer to come from? They don’t suddenly walk across meadows and valleys – they walk alongside the roads, breathing in the fumes for longer than if they were in the car.
Pollution is significantly worse on the road. So the most affected are the people in cars. Which is quite just. But if your children are walking on the side of the road, near the wall, they will be much less affected as diesel tends to hang quite low and narrow when it comes out of the tail pipe.
Leave earlier or make use of before school clubs which many schools have.
On a recent walking trip to my great nephews school to pick him up there were at least a dozen mother’s sat hunched over in their mobile phones in their cars with the engines running to keep warm. How much pollution did that cause? Get a warm coat stop pollution.
It is actually illegal to just sit in the car with the engine running
No it’s not
Read your Highway Code. It IS illegal, except for diagnostic purposes or while waiting at traffic junctions, light etc.
Technically is but no one is going to be around to enforce it
“Stationary idling is an offence under section 42 of the Road Traffic Act 1988,”
The Act enforces rule 123 of the Highway Code, which states: “You must not leave a vehicle’s engine running unnecessarily while that vehicle is stationary on a public road.”
Doing this can incur a £20 fixed-penalty fine under the Road Traffic (Vehicle Emissions) Regulations 2002. This goes up to £40 if unpaid within a given time frame.
That is open to interpretation of unnecessary- easy enough to justify
Highway Code is advice , not law
Parts of H\code is Law mostly in Red text
Yes it is if they are using a mobile phone
If stood with engine and using a mobile phone they are breaking 2 laws, using a mobile phone while the engine is running and keeping the engine running while stationary. If they dispute it the fines and points should be followed by a retest so they can learn the highway code before driving again.
if the engine is running and the driver is using a mobile phone to make a phone call, send a message or surf the net its 6 points and a £200 fine though a handsfree phonecall etc are ok
Only if handheld
Read your highway code. a possible fine of £20 and up to £80 in pollution reduction areas.
It is a legal requirement to keep windows clear ; in cold weather this means running ventilation system, therefore necessary to run engine . A case of one stupid piece of legislation being trounced by another . Misted up windows could lead to children being run over .
You could crack the window open enough to demist the windows
AndyC yes it is , If you are on the highway . read your HIGHWAY CODE.
you MUST switch off the engine, headlights and fog lights.
Highway code: You MUST NOT leave a parked vehicle unattended with the engine running or leave a vehicle engine running unnecessarily while that vehicle is stationary on a public road’. Generally, if the vehicle is stationary and is likely to remain so for more than a couple of minutes, you should apply the parking brake and switch off the engine to reduce emissions and noise pollution.
I have just seen a delivery driver do just that. Knocked at neighbour opposite. no reply. Tried two other houses opposite all the while running engine with drivers door open to boot!
It is classed as a driving offence and u can get a ticket and fine if caught as you r classed as being in control of yr vehicle if the engine is running
Do we have to have text speak???? It’s made more laughable as you have used u and you in the same sentence….. 😉
Check the law on leaving engine running while stationary
Things keep changing
Ohhhhhh yes it is
I think it’s illegal to leave the engine running if you aren’t in the car, and it’s on a public highway (for instance, while the car is de-frosting in the morning).
There are exemptions
Yes, and yet people do it all the time, especially in the winter to keep warm and in the summer to keep the air con running. Supermarket car parks also become very unpleasant places to be sometimes, you can literally feel the pollution as it can be so thick.
And its illegal to use your mobile phone while in control of a motor vehicle. Points and a fine. In order to not get a fine the car must be parked, the engine turned off and the keys clearly displayed on the dashboard. And that comes from a RPU Inspector.
Not if the phone is not handheld . The notion about keys is just one persons opinion – not law . Many cars no longer have or need keys anyway .
No it is not
The was a time when you went to your local school which was rarely more than a mile away. Then came parent choice and brought us to the current situation – kids in town A go to school in town B and kids in town B go to school in town A
These fines breach the equality act 2010.
Maybe we should consider the collective good. Not all children, at all schools, could make this change, for the various reasons that have been mentioned. If those who can, do, then the situation will improve. If we as individuals could think… is this something I could do, because it is worth the effort and will benefit all children, including mine, instead of thinking, that’s not fair, why is she/he still driving? We would also be teaching our children how in important the collective good is. Even those children living in luxury in posh “gated communities” have to breathe the same air as everyone else. The less excercise they get the less able to resist the increasingly common respiratory problems they will be. We would be doing our children and ourselves a favour.
The statistics are indisputable! ALL our driving habits are damaging ALL our children. Changes have to be made!
I did walk and bus to school. My parents had a car but their working hours did not allow them the time to take me to school. It was not much of a pleasure, particularly in the winter. Yes, it was a problem on the days when sports kit and a cello were required! The school had to provide storage for musical instruments and I had to plan when was the best day to take it. (Learning a life skill)
If we all did what we can, when we can, I believe this is now labelled “a can do attitude”, we could bring about a huge improvement, not perfection. We just need to stop thinking about what we can’t do, and do what we can.
There is no parking outside the school were I live and all it has done is shift the problem a bit further up the road. It actually has made the situation worse because all the drop off’s are now made around the top of a tee junction with parking each side of the minor road and along one side of the major road
In my sons school there is a pick up drop off point within the grounds – no need to stop on the streets .
No free transport is NOT available. It costs my daughter £90 a month to get my grandson to school on the school bus service. We are in Hertfordshire and there is no local bus service to his school so the only option is to either drive which incudes a 5 minute M1 drive or use the school bus service which is not free. In London public transport is much easier but not in rural areas so parents have no option but to drive. We don’t even have footpaths on some roads around our local school.
Nadine in this case its totally understandable to drive. Most aren’t like you though and will drive their kids right to the school when they only live a mile of so away. I would force my kids to walk to school come rain or shine, my neighbour directly across the road would take his kids to school in a 4×4 even when it was a fantastic day (brilliant sunshine and a decent temperature).
Ditto here in rural North Ayrshire – Car is the only option
Exactly, we are 4 miles from our catchment school and they cancelled the school bus and then cancelled the public bus due to cutbacks (we had to pay for those as well). Walking and cycling not an option due to distance and many dangerous roads to cross plus no pavements.
I agree in principle, however, what about parents/grandparents/carers who have a disability and struggle to walk???
I agree with Lorna. The only people who should be allowed to drive up to or into the school are those parents/carers/grandparents/children who qualify for a Blue Badge or have made prior arrangements with the school due to a disability. If the child is old enough and can be trusted to walk a reasonable distance to school ( and it is safe to do so), perhaps even Blue Badge holders should be encouraged to park away from the school.
Why don’t we have a ‘Park and Ride’ scheme for schools?
All very well regarding school run cars and parking near schools, but all this will do is move the problem to nearby streets and consequently other residents will suffer for this inconsiderate use of cars. Another wonderful scheme proposed by a both a Government and a Civil Service who have no clue whatsoever…
Might be obvious this, but won’t parents just park outside the exclusion zone and simply walk the last 200 yards?
Therefore just moving the pollution 200 yards down the road………
Three things impinge on this problem….over and above our obvious riches and laziness!
1)The government has so pushed for allyoung mums to work, that society now thinks there’s something wrong with women who want to look after their own children. These women scarcely have time to do the scool runs, let alone walk.
2) Many grandparents, myself included, are now covering for parents and it is exhausting.
3) Children are no longer allowed to walk home from school or even leave the school door on their own until they are 9, even with an older sibling. Kids all used to walk home together, little ones looked after by bigger ones.
Having road crossing patrols at every school could make this more possible for many children.
It’s not the parents that are lazy !!…when we all went to school no one was ever ever dropped off we walked….
1) The government has pushed all women into work. They scarcely have time to fit in the school run, even in a car.
2) Many grandparents now have to cover for parents and it’s exhausting.
3)Schools don’t allow under 9 year old to leave school without a registered adult collecting them from the door, so they can’t walk home even with an older sibling.
Parents are lazy !!!when we were at school NO ONE was dropped off at school ….we walked
All this would be ok if so many schools had not been closed and the site’s turned over to housing estates,
Walk/cycle 6 miles along a winding but busy country road with no pavement carrying at least 2 of the following: rucksack, clarinet, trombone, guitar and PE kit? Don’t think so.
Yep, we did, about 5, but then again we did cycling proficiency and other outdoor activities with a bit of danger. Racing motorcycles at 7. Little Jonny on the xbox is likely to learn nothing about common sense and looking out for yourself. Then parents come along and say little Jonny will get hurt doing that, may be may be not, but least he’s going to learn. To much cotton wool these days, even kids in their 20s know sod all when you speak to them, no life skills an no idea of history or just what happened last week in the news. Walk to school, talk with a mate on the way, mess around and live life as you only get one!
What about those parents that drop the children at school and then go straight to work?
Interesting email I received from petrolprices.com as I’m sat in the school carpark waiting for about 8:45am when I can be reasonably sure the attendant won’t leave the gate, before taking my daughters in.
The school carpark is a few hundred yards from the playground and maybe double that from the building, maybe something more schools should be emulating.
Not only do I have asthma, but I only have one lung. Usually, I can park at the far end of the carpark and walk back to my car no problem. If there’s a school trip planned and there’s a bus waiting in the car park, I’m coughing and choking for 20 minutes after passing (as far from it as I can) it.
It sounds like a mixture of entitled residents and communism. I would concede that making the obstruction of a driveway/loading entrance should be a traffic offence though.
The current parking and waiting restrictions should be enforced first and then assess the situation . If the councils and police say that they don’t have the resources then on implementation of new rules they still won’t have the resources.
Rather than punishing the car user, yet again, why not give schools and parents an incentive. Reduce traffic/emissions outside your school by and we’ll give the school extra funding.
Or is it, like all other congestion/pollution schemes a way to eventually just raise more money? Remember the congestion charge launch in London that was going to reduce Congestion and pollution? Congestion and pollution are now higher than before, but TfL has raised millions of pounds.
I’ve had people park on my drive before whilst taking their precious darlings to the school 2 minutes up the street, blocking my car in the garage. The school-run is nothing but a menace!
I go past the school gates on my way to work, 4 miles from home so not really walking distance, especially as my daughter has to carry all her school equipment all day everyday, and its a heavy bag. So why should I be fined for dropping my child at school ?
I can drop her off slightly further away but that would be on a main road with heavy traffic causing more of a disruption.
I will say I see plenty of kids walking to her school, but also plenty bad parking/driving by parents.
Drop you child off and drive on, less than a 2 min stop………..
what about when its raining, are you meant to turn up at school wet ?
how did we cope in the past… rain must be a new thing never seen by us as children, bit like child spaces in car parks, in the old days we just controlled our children instead of them controlling us.
At the nearest junior school to my home their is always a traffic jam around around the school which fronts onto a bus rout at both ends of a school day. It should be made illegal to do the school run by car if you live within a two mile radius of the school.
Two of my kids go to school in the next town, nowhere near either a bus stop or a train station, but bang in the middle of my daily commute.
Another goes to a school about 15 mins walk away and my wife often walks (or cycles) him in, but on the days that she works (a) it is on the way between our house and her office and (b) while he could walk the 15 mins in, that’s then 15 mins home again for my wife and if she wants to get to work on time, she would have to get him in by 8am before the school is open.
Having said that, there’s still no excuse for all the parents who park across driveways or park on the zigzags. I really wish the headteacher would reverse her policy of not naming and shaming them.
When I was a boy everyone, pupils AND teachers walked or biked to school, the exception was the headmaster who took his car to school for use in any emergency. Children living more than 3 miles from the school were issued with County Council bikes. All bikes were inspected every Friday to ensure that they were being maintained properly.
All very nice but comparing what happened 50 years ago with life today is pretty pointless
Why is it pointless? My grandkids live and go to school in Sweden where the school run is unheard of. Their mother accompanies them and they cycle to school. She then carries on to work on her bike In the afternoon they walk or cycle home with a neighbour. They find our obsession with using the motor car for every journey hilarious.
I just wonder if the head teacher other teaching staff, caterer’s and cleaner’s will be find for driving on to school premises, they should all be tarred with the same brush.
Why are you showing an American? school bus whilst talking about £50 and a problem in the UK. Poetic licence!!!!!
Laziness on the part of the editorial team more like
I live near a school and at school times it’s impossible to gain access to my house also regarding the pollution most of the parents leave their engines running while they are waiting.
So I agree with the ban
At the moment my child gets the bus to school (about 9 miles away) and it costs me £250 a term despite it being our catchment school. Next year I will have 3 children going and so the bill will be £750 a term, forcing me to drive as it is just too expensive. If the council would revert to paying for school buses in rural areas we wouldn’t be forced to drive and pollute.
When my kids were young we lived in a small country village with its own school. All the kids in the school came from the village, and nearly all were delivered and collected by car. The furthest any of them had come was half a mile. I once asked one of our friends and neighbours why she took her kids in the car, and she said because of all the traffic. We were not on a through-route to anywhere, so the only traffic was mums taking their kids to school in their cars!
When I was at school in north London I walked about a mile to and from school, on my own, from the age of 5. This was nothing unusual, all kids did it. There were never even any mums waiting at the school gates, and certainly no cars. We wouldn’t have had it any other way because we would have been called “babies” by our mates if they saw our mums waiting for us!
could it be possible to issue permits to parents who need to use car as going to work , or disabled ECT and designated parking bays drop off zones , and double yellows elsewhere , residents would automatically receive a permit a ANPR would police the problem
Er, no. ANPR wouldn’t work at all. Blue badges are not restricted to a particular vehicle.
er if they can add tax and insurance and mot, blue badges wouldn’t be a massive problem as only a small number compared to every car with insurance ect ect
ANPR works from the vehicle registration. As you do not register a vehicle to blue badge it is impossible to police blue badge usage by registration plate. My wife has a blue badge and in my recollection, it has been used in at least seven different vehicles in the past year.
“Hundreds of head teachers are piloting schemes to stop drivers pulling up to the school gates, with £50 fines and even penalties leading to points on their licences for those who snub the ban.” This seems a little confused: the police have no authority to enforce a ban imposed by a headteacher. Even if the ban were imposed by the local highway authority (and the article makes no sreference to their involvement), the police cannot issue fines, which can be imposed only by a court, but can only issue a fixed penalty notice, or a summons to court.
…and even if double yellow lines were put in place, it is still legal to drop off passengers.
The issue is not really the drop off, but the number of parents waiting around at collection time.
I was at school in the 60s and 70s; I was dropped at school nearly every day as it was on my father’s route to work.
It is a liberty what the parents do to get thier children to school. I live opposite the local schools main gate. It is mayhem at start of school and end. The cars appear in a mass causing chaos and a dirty atmosphere. Parents just a few yards away get in thier cars drop off the children and disappear.. this is a continuous process till school opens its doors again. When we had children we walked them to school which was 2 miles away we had a car but found it better to get them on a morning and evening walk which did both the children and ourselves.
I think cars dropping off children should be banned from the school gates with a half exclusion zone. This would help the air condition relieve the roads and have healthier children. Too many children today do not what it means to walk.
I’d like to know the following:
a) Since when was it illegal to drive a car on public roads and stop to drop someone off?
b) Schools can have rules about who enter/use their car park/grounds. But they have no power or business in fining people who are going about their lawful business outside the school grounds. Nor do the Police, as long as they obey the traffic laws.
Now it may change so that motorists cannot sit in their cars idling their engines waiting for someone for more than a ‘reasonable’ time, but that is patently NOT the same as literally dropping off or picking up someone from the public highway and not stopping on a zigzig or full double yellow (with kerb stripes) marked road, over/opposite a junction or driveway, etc.
I have no problem in encouraging parents to form car clubs or ‘walk to/from school clubs’ so that kids can go to/from school safely, but there still will be some who live out of the way who are not old enough to ride alone on a standard bus, even a school bus and may live too far from the school to walk or be walked to school. This so-called ‘solution’ is IMHO illegal and way over the top, as per usual. Some common sense is needed.
Common sense at last
It’s a good job I don’t have any kids then!
I would cycle(3 miles there and back) to school in the 70,s as both parents working and besides they thought the excercise was good for me.Luckily my own children had local schools so could walk but obviously different challenges for rural children and traffic density creates a mentality of must get them there safely. Perhaps a greater push to get parents who live on the same route/ area to share vechicles alternate weeks if it is necessary to use a car or the councils need to invest in green vechicles to bus them in – no one solution to solve this but need to get relevant groups together to find a solution that fits and works for their particular needs.
Excellent idea apart from one small issue…. organisation!
This country is to full of “it’s my right” people, who would want to do it there way, or not at all as it my right to drive my child to school when I want, or I can’t do it to day I have plans you know the excuses,
Your prime example of public organisation was fuel station prices, the idea was for two week for everyone to use the cheapest station in the area, thus driving prices down by force in the others as they could not survive with fuel sales, you then move to the next cheapest station for two weeks and so on until the price fell to an exceptable level… crackin idea, serves us all to get affordable fuel, did it happen NOT A CHANCE…. everyone wanted to do it there way, or had the attitude of I’ll go and get fuel where I want, but still moan about the price?????
You will never organise this as none of us move as a group anymore, we are all individuals. we can’t even pull together to drop fuel prices which benefits ALL of us.
Never the less a good sensible idea, which is possibly why it will never work and the local government will never enforce it especially as it is not a pointless idea so they certainly wont follow it, as it has to be cash generating and totally pointless for local government to give it the thumbs up, sadly.
The problem we all have is over the past possibly 4 decades we have been allowed a lot of freedom of movement, with the easy purchase of motor cars, we can go where we want, when we want, for as long as we want; we are now trying to restrict that “right” and cut it back, you will always get pushback from that couple that up to most peoples mentality of it’s my right to do what I want, your in for a rough ride no matter what you try and bring in/change.