Dangerous driving on the school run

Dangerous driving on the school run can put off even the most determined parent from cycling with their children to school

Charlotte Murray-Smith who lives in NR2 had a terrifying experience when cycling with her daughter to St Francis Primary School when her daughter was nearly hit by a driver on the zebra crossing on Earlham Road. As if that wasn’t enough imagine her shock when she saw the driver of the car involved dropping off at child at the same school!

Charlotte tells her story:

“For the past five years, myself and my two kids have cycled the short distance to school across NR2. The journey is the perfect distance for riding: too far to walk and reliably get to school on time (without running!) and yet short enough for a gentle ride. It’s evolved from bike trailer to bike seat and now to the three of us riding independently.

“I love our start to the day, particularly the traffic-free part through Earlham Cemetery. We can all relax, have a chat with each other and – if we’re lucky – see a Muntjac deer skipping in front of us.

Charlotte cycling with her kids through Earlham Cemetery

“Our hearts beat a lot faster as we approach Earlham Road and have to compete with the school run car traffic. We’ve been fortunate enough to see the implementation of a 20 mph zone with cycle lanes; however, we’ve been less fortunate in that the cycle lanes are still too much of a risk.

“Personally, I don’t think any road is safe enough to cycle down until it’s safe enough for a 5 year old to cycle down! We use the pavements, wrong I know, but having experienced a very near miss when a car made contact with my daughter’s bike whilst using a zebra crossing I still lack confidence in drivers during school run times.

“We’ve discussed our concerns with the school, including the School Streets* scheme which I think would be amazing. Occasionally, we’ve come close to giving up on cycling altogether, but we always come back to our love for the bike and my alternative would be the car. And then I’ll just be adding to the numbers of stressed parents trying to get to school on time in a tin can. We’ll stick at it and keep our fingers crossed.”

* A School Street is when the road(s) immediately around a school are temporarily closed to most motorised traffic at school drop-off and pick-up times when the school is open. School Streets in Norwich have been run on a trial basis in conjunction with Norfolk County Council.

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One thought on “Dangerous driving on the school run

  1. Once again speak about your concerns, particularly following this alarming event with your daughter, to the school’s headteacher. Keep up the pressure. Maybe even offer to give a talk to the school’s PTA if they have one. If they haven’t got one, it’s time they did. Keep the presssure on there too.

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