The school run

As if walking  along a busy road with a couple of under-fives isn’t bad enough, having to negotiate obstacles like this starts to make the whole procedure almost suicidal:

I tweeted British Gas a these pics at the time. They didn’t respond. So I thought I’d put them up here for all to see.

In common with a great many other parents that afternoon a couple of weeks ago, I had to detour onto a main road in order to proceed. With two children. That’s not something you should expect to do just for the convenience of a gas man who can’t be bothered walking a little further with his clobber.

But British Gas aren’t the only ones. If it’s not cars nosing out of drives as if the pavement they have to cross to reach the road belongs to them it’s vehicles very considerately parking on the pavement in order to leave even more room for their friends, the drivers of other cars. Heaven forbid that they should have to slow down or even – horror! – STOP for a moment in order to pass a parked vehicle. No, far better that parents with pushchairs should have to dodge traffic.

And I’d like to say that parents who drive cars understand and park outside the school gates with consideration for other parents and their children. I’d like to say that. But I can’t.

Personally, I think all able-bodied drivers should be forced to make every journey of under three miles on foot for one week every year in order to hold on to their driving licenses.

And they should do it in December.


10 thoughts on “The school run

  1. Alex Walsh says:

    How are you finding the British Gas smarter living campaign then? Hope the van wasn't looking for your house 😉

  2. Tim Atkinson says:

    What's that then Alex? Is it on the telly? Should I know about it? As I'm not a customer I doubt they'd be looking for my house!

  3. Expat mum says:

    When I used to have to push the kids around in buggies, I developed a huge amount of sympathy for people in wheelchairs. Where I am, the pavement/sidewalk is sloped down the the road level, for wheel convenience, and indeed it is great that you don't have to drop the pushchair or wheelchair down on to the road. However, when idiots like the one in your post, park all the way up to the road intersection, they effectively block off these ramps. Worse still – not only do wheeling people have to walk back up the street to see if they can get through parked cars, the cars are parked so close together that you're often literally trapped. Grrr.

  4. I would think that if a job needed a van that size it was carrying a fair bit if kit. Was it there for more than one day? It looks from the double yellows that it would have been hard for the workmen to park within in reasonable distance to the job. Perhaps they could have unloaded then parked a distance away but I think that depends on the time they were at the job for. Things sometimes have reasons other than no consideration. Ignorance may be the case this time but it also may not be. I would need the work men's story to be able to judge.

  5. Tim Atkinson says:

    You've made some very good points there, and I'm sure there was a reason for parking where they did. I'm just not convinced any reason is good enough to put a child's life at risk. For my part, I could accompany my two safely round the van when the road was clear but there are an awful lot of children walking to and from school alone and – as we know – young children's perception of risk and speed is nowhere near as sophisticated as an adult's. I'd really rather they parked on double-yellow lines than blocked the pavement. And, if I'm not mistaken, that is a lesser offence than obstructing the pavement… which is (for once) pretty much how the law should be!

  6. Tim Atkinson says:

    It must be so much worse for wheelchair users Toni and – like you – I've developed a real sympathy with them since becoming a regular push-chair pusher.

  7. Yes, that would be the better of two evils I agree. And if you are right about the laws then for once the balance seems right.

  8. Heather says:

    Argh, this annoys be so much. What I seem to be moaning about the most is people parking up on the pavement outside one of our local corner shops. There is no excuse for blocking an entire pavement just because someone can't be bothered to park sensibly and walk for probably less than a minute to get their daily paper, milk or whatever it is they're after.

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