Sometimes, the school run just can't be avoided

IN your article (Parking parents drive to last chance saloon, H&H April 19) it has been suggested that schools in Hampstead have not done much to ensure that parents know about Camden Council s policy of withdrawing school run parking permits. The impli

IN your article (Parking parents drive to last chance saloon, H&H April 19) it has been suggested that schools in Hampstead have not done much to ensure that parents know about Camden Council's policy of withdrawing school run parking permits.

The implication is that this has in some way affected the impact of the policy.

The article misses the point. It presumes that if parents had all the information, they would choose a different school that would not result in them needing to drive.

Prospective parents are fully informed and aware of the parking problems and yet still choose Hampstead Schools because of lack of choice elsewhere. The real problem and the root of school run congestion in Hampstead is that so many schools are located in Hampstead and so few elsewhere. There is an inadequate supply of school places in surrounding areas.


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Of course, it has been argued that the main culprit is the private schools. However, I have many friends who drive their children to the very good state schools in Hampstead because they simply cannot afford to continue living in expensive Hampstead and have moved away once their child has been accepted.

Alternatively parents are forced out of the state sector because they have been refused a place at a nearby school of their choice. Faced with travel or a failing school, they turn to the private sector. Often that is a very hard decision and to many it means real financial sacrifices.

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I chose independent as the local state schools were religion-based or, in my opinion, lacking the resources.

I could walk to the school from where we used to live but since we moved to Muswell Hill that option is gone. As I decided to continue my children's nursery education at the same school, I wish I could hop on a bus, but the 603 (which comes from Muswell Hill) only runs four times a day. I have three children and I work part-time.

As long as public transport does not deliver a viable option, the car is unfortunately my only option. I do hope that in the future all my children will be able to go to one of the two schools in nearby Highgate. However, the two schools are in great demand and thus a place is not guaranteed. Hampstead schools are simply the next closest.

I really hope that when Camden's councillors decide their policy on the school run, they don't base their decisions on inaccurate or incomplete information.

The fact is that schools are not spread out evenly, so school runs are a necessary practicality and the schools are not to blame.

The council has to accept that parents will take their children to schools in Hampstead and whether it is done by car or by other means of transport is up to them.

Removing parking dispensation will achieve nothing.

Only a real transport alternative will improve the Hampstead situation.

Ina Voloshin

Church Crescent

Muswell Hill, N10

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