CityCyclingEdinburgh Forum » Commuting

Driving kids to school encouraged at JG primary

(21 posts)

  1. edd1e_h
    Member

    http://www.blipfoto.com/entry/2951997

    """
    A turning circle. For cars! Bang outside a primary school!

    Instead of discouraging cars from coming too close to Juniper Green primary school and allowing kids to walk (or cycle) at least part of the way in, the council in their wisdom, allow parents to drive them in as close as possible. Destroying several mature trees in the process, and sleep walking the nation into a sedentary lifestyle - a lesson to our kids, at the earliest age, of driving everywhere, of inactivity. The result? A time-bomb of obesity, diabetes and heart disease.
    """

    Posted 3 years ago #
  2. SRD
    Member

    I'm beginning to think that we need to organise a meeting for parents of kids in Edinburgh schools to discuss active travel/share tips across schools.

    what do you think?

    Posted 3 years ago #
  3. crowriver
    Member

    @SRD, good luck with that.

    If anything is guaranteed to set in train irrational prejudices, raise hackles, and generally alienate folk it is daring to question parent's choices for THEIR kids.

    However ludicrously unhealthy, unsustainable, and damaging those choices may be.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  4. SRD
    Member

    errr....i meant, bring together those of us with similar interests/concerns and generate some solidarity so that people don't feel like they're fighting battles all on their own.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  5. crowriver
    Member

    Well it could be interesting. One of the nice things about Edinburgh is that one can see quite a few other parents doing similar things, it doesn't feel lonely. We might be a minority, but there are enough people doing it that it doesn't feel too weird.

    That's on a pan-Edinburgh level mind you. In certain locales there are not so many car free families nor ones that cycle together. Heaven knows what the majority of car-based families think about it. Well. actually I think I know what most of them think! "That's brave/you're completely insane/reckless".

    Not sure what the situation is like in other cities/places.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  6. SRD
    Member

    "We might be a minority, but there are enough people doing it that it doesn't feel too weird."

    That's true enough. But I hadn't realized how varied the experience was at different schools.

    I'd love to get someone to come and talk from the East Lothian schools where they're banning cars, for examples.

    The council is also talking about trying some more radical ideas.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  7. gembo
    Member

    @eddie-h

    Do you know what the building is on the golf course side with the big crane?

    The golf course have a new clubhouse?

    Slightly over half the pupils will come from down the hill and when the school was redeveloped the cycle / walking path went back in at a steep incline.

    The picture you have posted from the Lanark road side is where the road used to split with tarmac to the golf course and pathway to the school. the astroturf used to be old tarmac playground and the space was preserved for the school. This left a small group of mature trees as you say which looked a mess.

    I think what has gone in is not so brilliant, as you say likely to lead to some people driving up to the path, will be interesting to see if causes problems. When I used to visit that school, lots of walking, lollipop person, no cars except the occasional golfer.

    The school was redeveloped to a high spec,much use of daylight, curves etc. several members of staff keen cyclists. It was private partnership finance so clearly they just left the trees without including them in the spec. I presume the old annexe which was also the original village school remains unsold.?

    I think SRD's idea about parents across Edinburgh with an interest in cycling is a winner. Most people will know one or two other cycling parents at their school, but not enough to form a power base. Linking them all up across all schools will create a groundswell of support. This worked initially when many schools were to be closed in one fell swoop, many years ago. The campaigners from the threatened schools were linked up by one Internet savvy parent (in a non-threatened school I recollect). Most were then closed one by one but at least one was reprieved).

    Not sure how much more would be needed initially than something like this forum coming up with stock proposal to take to each parent council, and sharing ideas from schools with big cycling lobbies, eg Sc. or St.???

    Posted 3 years ago #
  8. chdot
    Admin

    "The campaigners from the threatened schools were linked up by one Internet savvy parent (in a non-threatened school I recollect)"

    If that's who I think you mean they used this to do some of the co-ordinating.

    http://stopedinburghschoolclosures.wordpress.com

    There had already been people - including pupils - making use of (the relatively new) 'social media' (inc MySpace and Bebo!).

    "Most were then closed one by one but at least one was reprieved."

    Some have been closed - and at least two demolished. All three 'threatened' secondaries are still open (Castlebrae reprieved again very recently).

    One of the closed schools - Bonnington - is being refurbished (at a much greater cost than if it hadn't been empty for years...) as the Gaelic school.

    My theory has always been that Education officials went to the fairly new (LibDem) councillors and said 'we need to save money and shut all these schools'. But their list was deliberately long as they assumed councillors would say 'oh no you can't shut that one' (several times).

    But those 'in control' just said 'OK'. Same people were running the tram at the crucial period.

    "I think SRD's idea about parents across Edinburgh with an interest in cycling is a winner."

    Agreed!

    "Not sure how much more would be needed initially than something like this forum coming up with stock proposal to take to each parent council"

    I think that would be a start and a mechanism.

    Over the years I have encouraged/helped parents set up "Safe Routes Groups". Since then I have worked more directly with (a few) schools and had no contact with parent councils.

    Last year I created CyclingSchools.info in connection with some work I was doing for CEC but not part of that work. Basically a collection of 'useful things', in one place, that I could show pupils and teachers.

    Expanding this with more info about individual schools and stuff for parents and school councils would be easy...

    Posted 3 years ago #
  9. shuggiet
    Member

    Great idea SRD... It might be too late, but if we can get a group of like minded parents together quickly, we could act as a group to send a message to PTAs/supportive head teachers/influencers to encourage attendees to POP under a 'safer routes to school' theme or something like that.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  10. chdot
    Admin

    "It might be too late"

    Might not...

    Posted 3 years ago #
  11. crowriver
    Member

    As the terrible programme said, it's all about Location, Location, Location.

    Some schools are situated in areas which are safer cycling: surrounded by quiet streets, near to traffic-free routes, and so on. They may also be blessed with a critical mass of cycling parents who want to transport their kids by bike.

    Towerbank primary in Portobello would be a good example of such a school. The Prom is nearby for traffic-free access. The school recently removed its car park, restricted access to motor vehicles, and installed a good number of Sheffield stands. So the cycling culture has become widespread and normalised.

    In contrast, I've only seen one other parent transport a child by bike (and only a handful of others cycling at all) at Abbeyhill , the school where my kids go*. The school itself is on a quiet cul-de-sac, but this leads to the busy A1 at London Road. On the other side is Abbeyhill itself, which despite traffic calming is used as a rat run. Blind bends and junctions under the railway bridges make this a hazardous place to cycle. The nearest traffic-free route is in Holyrood Park, which is not really linked with Abbeyhill except via Croft-an-Righ's cobbles. There appears to be a cycle training programme, as hordes of kids' bikes appear once a week in school. There is a Spokes/Bike Station notice about 'Cycling with kids' displayed prominently in the main entrance. There are a few bike racks dotted around the playground that have bee there for some time, though a couple seem to have been removed recently, I don't know why, maybe to make more room for the bins.

    So my point is, where conditions are favourable, ideas like cycling to school can grow. Where the environment does not take cycling into account in any meaningful way, there's little scope to get things going.

    * - We live quite close by. My son walks/runs to school; My daughter goes by balance bike (on the pavement of course).

    Posted 3 years ago #
  12. chdot
    Admin

  13. chdot
    Admin

    "
    Edinburgh Parent Council Network (EPCN) Every Chair of all Edinburgh school PCs is invited to join this group with a dedicated website to exchange views and information between PCs. There are currently some 170 members of the EPCN.

    "

    http://www.balernohighschoolparentcouncil.org/sites/default/files/site-files/documents/bhspc-agm-minutes-110912.pdf

    Though I can't find an EPCN website!

    Posted 3 years ago #
  14. crowriver
    Member

    Googoling around, it seems to have been an e-mail list with a few meetings. Set up by one Gavin (now Cllr) Corbett.

    Again though, it seems to me that the schools with good cycling facilities/policies are those with very active Parent Councils. These tend to be schools in areas with large numbers of committed and engaged parents, who organise lots of extra-curricular activities in their spare time, etc. Mostly in the nicer, more middle class areas of town. I'm sure there are exceptions but I reckon this is the trend.

    Without a large and voluble body of parents demanding these things it will largely depend on committed head teachers, whatever Council initiatives come up, and proximity to off-road cycle paths.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  15. SRD
    Member

    Crowriver - I do understand that for many folk cycling to school is not the best option - either because the school is close or because of hills, or because of it being on busy roads. . My thinking was more about active travel in general, and, especially, making sure that parents in cars are driving safely around the other children and parents.

    Regarding parent involvement/class issues - that's true everywhere in the world. don't see why we'd expect anything different in Edinburgh. but no reason why we can't get more solidarity between schools.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  16. chdot
    Admin

    Not directly relevant to this discussion, but I think 'we' all know it's not just about cycling to school or ActiveTravel or cycle training (Bikeability) but making people more aware of the opportunities for, and benefits of, "cycling" in the widest possible sense.

    http://bikeclub.org.uk/are-you-a-parent

    Posted 3 years ago #
  17. chdot
    Admin

  18. chdot
    Admin

    From Twitter -

    "
    Sign seen in #Spalding by @DaveduFeu http://t.co/G5u6Vm5QRZ

    "

    Posted 3 years ago #
  19. edd1e_h
    Member

    @gembo. The old clubhouse has been demolished and flats are being built (where you see the construction/crane).

    A new clubhouse has been built lower down and to the left, with a huge car park, and an access road with no pavement - i.e. we don't want you scummy walkers in here, you either drive in or you're not welcome (and presumably you drive out again after partaking in the 19th hole!!!*).

    I think the turning circle has been put in by the developers, as part of road 'improvements', but presumably the council vetted the plans...?

    PS. I'm not actively involved in JG primary, I just used to attend.

    * I do not condone drinking & driving - in fact I condemn it ;)

    Posted 3 years ago #
  20. chdot
    Admin

  21. chdot
    Admin


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