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The Problem With Parking.

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The problem with parking? how best to solve it?

 

Parking is often a topic of debate in many places, is it charged for? How long? How much? Where to park and where should it be restricted?

 

I am lucky in that the local council area I live in offers (in a survey I saw not long back) the most free parking and the lowest charged for in much of the UK.

 

But a couple of news articles I read today got me thinking, where parking is an issue, what is the solution?

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-northamptonshire-30021455

 

 

Plans to raise the cost of parking permits in Northamptonshire to £60 have been described as "disturbing" and "grossly unfair".

The county council is consulting on possible changes to permit schemes.

It says price increases are needed to counter a £120,000 shortfall in operational costs.

Proposals include raising fees from £25 to £60 for some schemes and imposing the same charge in areas where parking is currently free.

For residential parking if a permit is payed for I would expect that permit payer to get a parking place, after all you have payed for a product right?

 

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-beds-bucks-herts-30007433

 

 

Queue-jump driver 'endangered children' in Luton

Now this action by the driver was clearly wrong, but it highlights the problem of cars on the road and the parking outside schools at  certain times of the day with children being taken to/from school.  I suspect the driver in frustration took the reckless action, I have said before that parking/traffic at these times of day that are school related are a bugbear of mine.

 

I am sure we never had that issue when I was at school so why these days?  I must admit I think that instead of fifty cars taking fifty children to school should be moved to one bus doing the same job, and (not a parent so I could be wrong here), I thought parents had to live in a catchment area for a school for their children to attend? so why are more not walking?

 

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The biggest problem with parking is that people are to lazy to walk a few extra yards so park in stupid places and believe they have a devine right to park outside their houses.

A lot people who do the school run when the kids just could walk. Next door neighbors the school is 4 minutes away on foot yet they drive there. I always walked to school a couple of miles and there wasn't a pervert behind every bush and even walked through the local park in the dark. I was also taught to cross the road properly. They want to keep people less obese perhaps encouraging more a walking culture would help.

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Good Evening everyone,

I agree about parking outside schools is in the main caused by laziness. There are of course some exceptions to this, for example some rural or denominational schools with large catchment areas, as is the case with some Special schools that provide education for children of various disabilities. In these instances it is often not practical for youngsters to walk to school.

 

For the vast majority of pupils this is simply not the case. It is an instance of the youngsters being pampered. There is a large infants school and a large junior school sharing the same site fairly close to the housing estate where I live and it is absolute bedlam in the morning and mid afternoon on the highway outside the school and in adjacent residential estate roads where parents park inconsiderately blocking residents' driveways.

 

An awful lot of the traffic generated on this school run is local. often the parent doing the "picking up" has another offspring with them and the logic of taking the car especially in the winter months completely eludes me. By the time the car is unlocked and the child placed in the car in their car seat and driven to as near as they can get to the school. unstrap the child from their seat, lock the car up and walk the remainder of the way to the school gates and continued the exercise in reverse order on the way back home they could have walked to and fro in half the time as there is a walkway that does not require the convoluted road route with the attendant mayhem on the way to and from as well as outside the school. The school do their best to try to discourage parents from driving their children to school but as far as a sizable minority of parents is concerned the plea has fallen upon deaf ears

 

Until a couple of years back my wife was a mid day assistant in the Infant school, and one day she was in conversation with the nurse who was on one of her regular visits to the school. She told my wife that in recent years has there not only been an increase in obesity, but also a greater number of children suffering with weak ankles and she cited the reason for this being lack of exercise.

 

Kind Regards

 

Dave

Edited by claret047

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IMHO School run car use is far too great and teaches a child to ride rather than walk.  Think how much better the roads would be and the air cleaner if this was no longer the case?  That last bit alone would be better for all young and old.

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I have no problem with parking

I dont have a car

 

Simples :D

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Ah, the school run...this thread could get nasty.

 

When I was at Primary in the 70s I walked across the village to school and back virtually every day, from the day I started. The few times I can remember being picked up were when my dad came to get us to take us straight to the swimming pool on a Friday. Where I lived then, my walk consisted of a walk from our housing estate through a park, across one busy(ish) road in the centre of the village then through another housing estate to the school. Apart from the one road, which had a 'lollipop lady', it was virtually traffic free. Probably just under 1km each way, although in memory it seemed much longer. Oh, and there was much less traffic around in the 70s. We were bussed to high school, but the bus pickup point was in the center of the village so still a slow 10mins walk each way.

 

The village I live in now isn't dissimilar in size to the one I grew up in, but I drop off my youngest at school every morning. I don't see myself as a particularly protective dad (that's his mum's role, it's my job to fight for his right to some freedom) but even I'm wary about him walking at age 7, even although it's only about 0.5km. The school is on the main road through the village and it's busy at that time in the morning. The direct route to school from our house is along a narrow path beside that road. Despite being a 30 limit there plenty of drivers who, lets just say, have no patience. I have to pass the school to go to work anyway so the morning routine is I drop him off just outside the school. It's a 10second job though, in a wide area in a street across the road from the school gates so it doesn't hold up traffic at all. I'd still rather he walked though, and if I wasn't going straight to work I'd walk it with him. He's in after school club every day so pick-up is from the school car park (small, and off-bound in the mornings after 8:30).

 

Luckily the local high school for the surrounding area is in the village. Like his brother and sister before him, when he goes to high school he'll be walking as A) it's a much safer route(1.5km each way) as it's through the housing estates, and B) I can expect him to be more sensible.

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Thing is there are far more working parents now so they'll usually implement the school run on the way to and from work. Granted, I'd still make my kids walk or get the bus if reasonable.

I notice that a lot of parking gets ignored in favour of gathering around the gates. The school near us has a designated parking area about 200m down the road, but still many ignore it and gather around the entrance.

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Improving public transport would be a start. If buses and trains actually turned up on time and were of a reasonable cost then perhaps more people would be inclined to ditch the car.

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But you get school bus passes which are very reasonable. The busses literally stop outside the schools. You can even apply for a free pass if financially struggling.

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Also, it's not enough for public transport to be good, it also has to be well-advertised.  People won't use school bus services if they don't know that they exist.  This is compounded by general laziness- a lot of people will drive simply because it's the easy option and doesn't require research.  Another factor is that parents are more likely to allow their children to walk or get a bus to school if they are in groups and supervised (so that the parents don't have to take time out to walk/get a bus with their kids- particularly significant if they have to travel to work every day).

 

When I went to secondary school, the school had its own buses and I typically went to and from school on the school bus, and the buses had supervisors.  It can be done, but in some cases it won't be easy.

Edited by Thundery wintry showers

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We (I) went to school on public buses, we often went in groups anyway, we had passes to allow our travel, safety was never an issue for us, I did bus to school from ten till I left school at sixteen and before that I walked or cycled there when old enough.

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Most of the schools I went to (10 in total) were some distance away so we used a bus, either a dedicated school bus or a public bus service (and none had any additional adult supervison other than the driver).   When the schools were closer I walked or cycled - at 13 I was cycling 2 miles along the North Circular in NW london, and yes, I used the road not the pavement!  At one school In Essex, we were 2 or 3 miles from school and if the bus didnt turn up I was expected to walk, although in summer I usuall cycled (again, along a main road).  At another, I had to walk a mile to the nearest village just to catch the bus .... (across the fields in 81/82 when snowdrifts blocked the lane)

I dont think my parents ever drove me to shool once in my life!

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It is not just schools though, how many people now choose where they shop/go based on how close/cheap the parking is?

 

In my local town we have ample free parking all round the high street/town centre, you can park up and walk into town in under two minutes and be shopping, yet for some this is still too far.  Disability I can understand but the majority of it is pure lazyness IMHO.  I walk into town and I live on the edge of it and always walk into town to do my shopping rain or shine, it takes me fifteen minutes to get there on foot, good exercise and a chance to stop and chat as I go, cheaper than running a car as it takes longer to navigate the one way system and park than it does to walk during the day.

 

We had one shop that lasted only nine months from opening, they did some great bargains on food but the footfall through the door was too low as no one wanted to walk the two minutes from a car park opposite.

 

Is it lazyness that is killing our high streets as well as some councils waging war on drivers? (car park charges)

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I think there are some fundamental psychological problems here as well.  One is habit- when people get used to driving to as near to the doorstep of their destinations as possible, many of them may do it automatically and without even considering alternatives such as walking.  Another is that traffic congestion is a cumulative issue.  An individual might think, "It's only one extra car and a short journey so it won't have a major impact on local traffic levels", and if it was just one person, this would be correct, but the problem is that if we get 5,000 individuals thinking the same way then we get 5,000 extra cars and that has a very large impact.

 

I sense that the traditional way of trying to discourage this is with the "waging war on drivers" approach, such as parking charges and restrictions, but this tends to hit the disabled hard and move the problem elsewhere, sometimes contributing to increased incidence of illegal parking and thereby making the problem worse, so we need to find better ways. 

Edited by Thundery wintry showers

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