Each morning from about 8.40am the High Street in Auchterarder becomes a logjam as the school run takes over. By 9.15am the High street is eerily quiet as the cars head to home or work and the children are in school.
Why would you sit in a traffic jam for minutes at a time rather than allow your child to walk a few hundred yards to school? Are the streets of Auchterarder so unsafe that children cannot be allowed to walk the streets to get to school? It certainly seems so when you see the chaos at the end of New School Lane on a weekday morning.
This morning there was a long queue of cars from the Aberuthven side of the town tailing back as cars and buses waited to cross over to access the school. As you can see on the video, even when there is nothing coming towards them, it can be impossible to cross as New School Lane is backed up as far as the High Street.
The community school of Auchterarder has for several years been trying to encourage more parents to walk their children to school – “Space for traffic, especially for parking, is extremely tight on school grounds. The school encourages as many parents as possible to walk their children to school, where possible. Where walking isn’t an option, perhaps parents could consider parking elsewhere in Auchterarder (possibly one of the public car parks) and walking their children from there.
The movement of vehicles before 9:00am has improved greatly over the past year and we’d like to thank all the parents who have made a special effort in helping to improve this situation. However, we could be doing even better. Safety of our young people is our primary concern; too much traffic at our roundabout in the morning means cars double-park and children often dart in between parked cars, which can be extremely dangerous.”
Shortening the school run by walking to school, even the last few hundred yards can be beneficial for both children and parents as they get to interact with their peers and other parents. Who knows maybe it could lead to coffee meets and new groups of friends?
With the only access road to the school also being the only access road to Parkdale Care Home, this traffic jam could have much more serious consequences than a few minutes’ delay. As the weather improves why not walk a little and get to know some new people, who knows, you may make some new friends?