Mum’s idea would stop a park­ing bun­fight

Ashbourne News Telegraph - - OPINIONS & LETTERS -

THIS week we’ve heard of a very sen­si­ble idea, from a switched-on school-run mum des­per­ate to make the daily task of pick­ing up her chil­dren safer and eas­ier, fall­ing at the first hur­dle.

Gaynor Mcdermott asked the district coun­cil if par­ents pick­ing up chil­dren from Ash­bourne Pri­mary could be ex­cused the soon-to-be £1.50 fee to park for an hour in Shaw Croft to al­low them to walk with their chil­dren back from the school in safety.

Park­ing near to the school is be­com­ing chaotic and it’s hardly sur­pris­ing – the school has ex­panded and Cokayne Av­enue of­ten be­comes a busy bot­tle­neck.

Of course, as Der­byshire Dales District Coun­cil points out, free park­ing is avail­able in Cokayne Av­enue Car Park and, for a lim­ited time, in Cokayne Av­enue it­self. But try to find a space there dur­ing the school run.

It’s right for the coun­cil to point out that res­i­dents of the Der­byshire Dales – which one would as­sume is nearly ev­ery par­ent driving to Ash­bourne Pri­mary School – would be al­lowed to park free in the morn­ing any­way us­ing the res­i­dents’ con­ces­sion.

Park­ing is also free in De­cem­ber, of course, so this month they’re off the hook. But as of Jan­uary 1, a 20p in­crease will kick in and, if par­ents want to take the safest option and park in Shaw

Croft they’ll be pay­ing £1.50 per day. Over an aca­demic term that would soon add up. So it’s no won­der there’s a bit of a bun­fight in Cokayne Av­enue – and it makes Gaynor’s solution seem simple and ef­fec­tive.

You’d think it would be very easy for the coun­cil to of­fer a con­ces­sion. Its pol­icy might not al­low for a “blan­ket ex­clu­sion for any group” but poli­cies are easy to re-write and are of­ten mal­leable.

Af­ter all, it’s been mal­leable enough to al­low a fam­ily of trav­ellers a “blan­ket ex­clu­sion” for over a month now.

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