Monday 28 April 2014

Yes but who will think of the children? (part 1)

Say what you like about Tank Commander "Wolfie" Miles and his right-to-commute-to-work campaigners, call them "lost in time" or "selfish and missing Clifton's underlying issues" -they are good at PR.

They've realise that demanding the right to park outside the estate agent where you work, where you can charge a premium of thousands of pounds for any form of guaranteed parking, makes you look hypocritical. So instead they've found a commuter group that they can call on: school teachers.

The best one yet is how the introduction of an RPZ will force a teacher in Colston Primary School to resign as she'll have nowhere near to park after 45 minutes driving from Bath.

We've covered Colston Primary before, showing our datasets go back years, and can so place things in a historical context. We also know that the school is already in the CM zone, so can do before and after footage. So over today past the traffic jam chaos that was the st michael's hill school run jam, and what do we see -and how does it compare with the equivalent photos from 2009.

Before: Parked cars provide exciting things for small children too look at

After: empty crossing with good visibility

Before: congested dropoff zone outside the school, with the only place for parents to pull over the keep clear zone


After: emptiness. Those parents do doing dropoff can do it without going on the yellow lines -and so risk earning a ticket.

This carries on up the hill -where you can see the small kid scootering up and down while waiting for a parent with a push chair to catch up.

Finally, rotate pi radians  from the first photo -that's 180 degrees to people that stopped doing maths at 16 and don't understand data science- and what do you see behind the pleasant park with a play area where the younger brothers and sister of the colston primary age kids are playing on their scooters?

A train station.

Colston's Primary is three minutes walk from the Severn Beach line, which has a regular service to and from Templemeads -it takes 12 minutes, costs 1 pound 60 or thereabouts return, and hooks in to the trains to bath. If you do make the choice to live in Bath and commute into Bristol, this school is one of the few places where you can actually do it by train conveniently.

Whereas the parents with they schoolkids? They get a no-worry area where they can walk their kids to school, without fearing for the kids running ahead, without having to cross roads with zero visibility -roads congested with cars driving round in circles waiting for a space freed up by a resident.

This gives them a low stress stretch of the journey, which lasts until they get to the No-RPZ areas, such as Montpelier

That's why we think this sob-story is just that: something dredged up by tank command to make a point, but which doesn't hold up to scrutiny
  1. Colston's primary is served by both a train system 3-5 minutes walk away
  2. It's 15 minutes walk from the central bus station, where buses go to bath
  3. The primary users of the school -the families nearby- benefit, where they are walking, driving or cycling their kids there.
  4. There's nowhere that says it is compulsory for schoolteachers to live in bath
Central Bath has been nothing but RPZ for ages -anyone who lives in Cotham and who works in Bath isn't going to find any free parking except out past Victoria Park or other places more than half an hour's walk from the centre.

If the teacher lives in central Bath, she's going to have an RPZ permit on her own car. If she lives out of the core, well, she'd be just as inconvenienced teaching at a school in Bath as she would be in Bristol, so doesn't make a defensible case for the Tooting Clifton Popular Front.


brooksby1971 said...

Teachers are not special cases as regards the RPZ, deserving of exemption. They are just more of the very same commuters that the RPZ is trying to stop (but with better holidays!).

brooksby1971 said...

Teachers are not special cases for the RPZ, deserving of exemption from the parking restrictions thereof. They are just more of the very commuters that the RPZ is trying to stop, albeit with better holidays!

Sara Dorman said...

nice one! must do blog of my own, but here in edinburgh, where parking is already mostly residents only, proposal is to close roads in front of schools at opening/closing times. anyway, hoping my school applies to be included tomorrow. will blog afterwards.