Parents shouldn't be penalised for taking children safely to school

Parents should not be penalised for dropping their children off safely to school. The 15 minute parking dispensation permit enables parents to park safely and avoid circling and double-parking to avoid tickets! Many of us have no option but to drive to

Parents should not be penalised for dropping their children off safely to school. The 15 minute parking dispensation permit enables parents to park safely and avoid 'circling' and double-parking to avoid tickets!

Many of us have no option but to drive to Hampstead for our children's education so I hope that as part of the review of the school run policy, Camden Council will recognise that taking away parking permits without improving the alternatives available to parents, is going to make matters worse, not better.

My husband and I live in Crouch End with our two children aged three and five. In November 2005, we sent in our son's primary school application to our local authority (Haringey Council) listing our choice of local primary schools in order of preference.

In May 2006, we were told that none of our schools of choice were available and we were given a list of schools with places available for our son to start in the new term. Two of those schools were failing schools in Tottenham and the third option was another failing school on the Wood Green/Tottenham border.


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As we had not considered taking the private education route, we did not have our son's name down for any of the private schools in our area. Consequently, we were told that there were no spaces available and waiting lists had been closed.

Needless to say, we were devastated and desperate.

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Thanks to the advice and information of other parents whose children attended my son's nursery, we came to find a place for our son in Hampstead.

We remain on our local primary school's waiting list (we are seventh on the waiting list even though we live 0.3 miles away) but accept that a place may not become available in the next couple of years .

Camden Council's decision to eradicate the school and nursery parking dispensation permits has greatly affected us due to our situation. We have seen our son's school's travel plan and support its suggestions. We would love to use public transport but the prospect of catching two buses to drop my daughter off at nursery before catching a third bus to Hampstead to drop my son off is unrealistic and ridiculously time-consuming.

We have also looked into car-sharing, but apart from being quite isolated from other families attending the school, we have a younger child who attends a nursery in a different location, thus making it difficult to arrange.

We welcome ideas to help the environment and appreciate the problem with congestion but we feel frustrated at Camden Council's decision to eradicate the parking dispensation permits, as without any alternatives (such as school buses or drastically improved public transport) there will be no improvement in the environment or congestion.

Parents should not be penalised for trying to get their children safely to school, particularly when some are forced to send their children to schools out of their borough!

Nick & Marie Charalambous

Wolseley Road, N8

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