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Have Your Say

School coach parking row

Concern is being expressed in this site's 'Have Your Say' section about the traffic flow at the corner of Moffats Lane and Mymms Drive.

One correspondent writes about a 'vendetta' being waged to try to prevent the various school coaches that use the route parking to collect children.

Another complains about the antics of parents who 'park with their engines running and stereo playing for up to half an hour'.

The debate has now moved to the new interactive forum which will soon take the place of the old 'Have Your Say' section. Please bookmark the new forum so you can keep up-to-date with village issues.

The issue is leading to a heated debate with another correspondent questioning whether emergency vehicles will now be able to respond to calls because of what is described as a 'pathetic protest' by one or more local residents.

A number of people have chosen to remain anonymous and withhold their e-mail address. This is fine as long as people first mail this site explaining who they are. This is so this section does not become abused.

If you want to post and withhold your details please first e-mail feedback and your information will be kept confidential. Feel free to use a nickname.

The issue was first raised on this site on Thursday January 24. Here is a flavour of the debate so far starting with the first message posted by 'a concerned parent'.

“I wondered if people knew about the vendetta being run by an unfortunate resident at the junction of Moffats Lane and Mymms Drive, against the school coaches which pick up in the morning and drop off in the evening nearby.

“This sad individual has taken to parking his white box van directly opposite another of his vehicles on the other side of Moffats Lane, thus restricting the carriageway to barely one car's width and causing serious problems to the coach drivers.

“This evening it appeared that the virus was spreading as two bright sparks had parked directly opposite each other half way down Mymms Drive (Ford Galaxy and Land Rover Discovery). Is this a related protest? Or just a few brain cells short of a load?

“There are two points to be made here. Regardless of the rights and wrongs of coaches and your views of private education, Moffats Lane is an adopted highway and is therefore constructed and maintained to a standard, which allows any roadworthy vehicle to pass and repass legally at any time of day or night.

“In addition, if a coach has difficulty getting through, what about a fire engine or other emergency vehicle? What would the occupier of 'x' Mymms Drive say if his pathetic protest caused needless damage or harm to a property or persons?

This post was followed up by another regular poster, JET, who put the other side of the argument.

“Dear concerned parent, I live in Calder Avenue, nowhere I would add near the junction. But let's get one thing straight. The coaches parking at the end of the road are a nuisance and a downright hazard.

“The hazard is that they park right on the junction which means that cars have to overtake on the wrong side of the road into the path of vehicles turning into the road opposite the parked coach.

“There is a real danger of a youngster walking out from in front of the coach into the path of a car! They would not hear the danger due to the noise of the coach engine.

“The antics of mothers picking up children have to be seen to be believed. As soon as kids are loaded they tend to pull out oblivious to anyone else.

“The mothers park with their engines running and stereos playing for up to half an hour and couldn't care less about the pollution they cause. I walk past and witness this sad shambles most days on foot. If parents really cared they would ensure that the coach parked on a long straight part of the road.

“As someone who was lucky (?) enough to walk 2 miles to school which meant that home to home was 8.30-4.30 I feel really sorry for these kids and their 12 hour days plus homework. Any wonder they turn to cigs, drink & drugs?

“So basically have a little thought for the poor s*d that has to put up with it twice a day outside their house and put your own house in order first! You selfish person!

Another correspondents wondered why it has taken so long the parking to become an issue.

“I totally agree with the concerned resident. Coaches have been going up Moffats for the past 17 years. What has taken him so long in complaining? He has lived there that length of time. This family are an absolute nuisance, and need locking up.”

To which JET replied.

“Far from being locked up, please consider that the family concerned are never able to have a lie in during school time or enjoy the peace and privacy of their garden in the late afternoon. The coaches are a nuisance and a hazard.

“Why don't you ask them to discharge their cargo outside your house or are you just another nimby. You wouldn't like it or perhaps you would be at work and it would not concern you. If I parked a lorry close to the end of the road I bet the police would move me on.

“Why are the family a nuisance, what have they ever done to anyone? Have some consideration for others.”

Another post, signed 'another driver' expressed concern about the possibility of children being hurt because of the situation.

“In response to the letter by the so called concerned parent. Would you like to have your child delivered at a blind junction thereby running the risk of having that child mown down because it is convenient for the coach driver to stop there?

“He finds it difficult to find a place to park at the end of Moffatts Lane because the parents collecting their children (God forbid they should be allowed to walk home and get some exercise) park with absolutely no consideration for either the coaches or other motorists. They are also to blame for the problem.

“I have had several near misses with children running to mummy's car across the road in front of the coach and in front of me without so much as looking to see if anything is coming or even caring. If I accidentally hit one of these little darlings it would be my fault because I do not have x-ray vision and cannot see through coach bodies.

“It is impossible to turn either way or proceed straight across that junction as the coach does not leave enough room for a car to pull in front of it. I was under the impression that such a practice was illegal. Sufficient room has to be left at any junction and this is not happening. Why not pull turn left into Mymms Drive and park on the straight section in clear view? I will tell you why. Because the residents of Mymms Drive have more clout and they don't want this monstrosity parked on their private road. Who would? It is a nuisance.

“All I can say is that the parents are willing to get their cars out and travel yards not miles to collect these children, why don't they collect them from school instead. Too much trouble? Daytime TV too riveting!!!!!

“I am totally fed up with the laziness and total lack of consideration shown in this village. When I moved here 16 years ago it was a really nice place to live. Now it is full of petty backbiting and downright nastiness just like everywhere else.”

As the debate continued on the 'Have Your Say' pages it seemed to become more heated.

”Excuse me we don't all work weekdays, and when someone wants peace really is no one else's affair. I saw the two coaches parked on both sides of the house tonight engines running, hazards on causing an obstruction.

“The police were present I wonder why? Why don't you support your neighbours right to reasonable peace, you might need help one day?

“As the problem is constant this is now bordering on harassment as defined by environmental health and is a contravention of a person's right for reasonable enjoyment of their property under the European Court Of Human Rights ruling. Please think before you comment and have some basic human compassion.”

A concerned parent wrote about the need for all sides to get together and discuss the issue constructively.

”I am also very worried about what is happening at the Mymms Drive/Moffats Lane coach stop. The house-owner concerned is intentionally causing obstructions for school coaches and other traffic, whereas there also have been direct altercations with coach drivers and children.

“Whatever the real objections are, what he is doing is unlawful and also very upsetting for the children (some of which are quite young girls). The coach stop fulfils a genuine role for children who do not have other means of transport, and has been there for many years.

“The nuisance caused by few coaches and a limited number of cars stopping there seems rather minor compared with the heavy volume of school traffic in Pine Grove and Peplin's Way.

“It would be better to talk about the issues involved and to address them constructively.”

And another appeal for people to talk before anyone is hurt.

”This is probably my last post on the subject. I don't think anyone has taken on board one thing I have written about the coaches.

“I pray that the almost inevitable accident does not happen. Wouldn't it be nice if everyone was on the same side.

“Consider that the people picking up the kids don't live anywhere near where they are being picked up from, if they do can't they walk home or is this such an unsafe area.

“You are arguing to back up people who have no consideration for your locality. Even our M.P. asked the coach firm to be considerate! Best wishes whatever your view.”

If you feel strongly about this issue feel free to use this site's 'Have Your Say' section to comment.

January 25, 2002 (updated January 30, 2002)

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