Wednesday 16 November 2022

Does common courtesy exist anymore? The school run.

We live next door but one to a Primary School. I work at a Secondary School on the other side of town. 

Twice a week I cycle to work and I get a lift back and forth the other days. About once a week I take the car.

It's quicker for me to unlock my bike, check the tyres, cycle to school, lock my bike and put my helmet and bag in my locker than it takes to reverse off the drive, drive through the traffic, find somewhere to park and walk into school.

I don't cycle every day as some days I have too much to carry in, I'm not a confident rider and it is a 5 mile round trip which is a bit much for me every day.

If I take the car, I approach work the long way round and drive away from the school to park without blocking anyones drive way and park away from the junction, facing in the direction of home, so I don't get stuck in the melee of parents, cyclists, buses and those walking. However it means when I arrive home, it's often a fight to drive down the neighbouring streets with all the parents parking for the Primary School and there are many times when it's a tight fit to squeeze onto the drive, keeping a watchful eye out for children, unsupervised, running across our drive. On quite a few occasions, I haven't been able to get on the drive.

Parents park outside our house, lock their car and walk away to collect their children. Parents ignore our requests to move their car when they're sat in it outside our house, music blaring. Our garden often contains the remains of sweet wrappers, dropped on the ground at the end of school.

Cycling has its dangers also. Car drivers drive too close, over take while I'm cycling past parked cars and over taking me on blind corners. Cars over taking me then pull in front to turn left at the junction, I'm cycling past. Electric vehicles driving too close and I can't hear them. buses driving too close when over taking and pedestrians just stepping out in the road in front of me, usually school children of all ages.

Leaving work at 3pm means I have to walk the gauntlet of all the students leaving at the same time. I've broken up fights, dealt with bullying, walk through a wall of fragrance vapers. I get side swiped with bags, contend with cyclists on the pavements and weaving in and out of traffic and impatient drivers who narrowly miss knocking either me off my bike or the wing mirrors off my car.

All the above stresses me out, can make the start or the end of my day most unpleasant, no apologies, no embarrassed smile, no recognition they've even done anything wrong. 

So to combat this and reduce the risks of a) me getting knocked off my bike b) a car accident or c) me losing my rag at someone, I leave for work 30 mins early every day and I leave work 30 minutes late everyday, plus the journey time to and from work, whether by car or bike, I'm out the house for 30 hours for work, 3 and half hours commute and 5 hours out the house to avoid unnecessary stress. 

Do you do the school run? Do you live near a school? Are you considerate of the schools neighbours?


  1. I'm so sorry you're still having trouble with your migraines. Have your doctors tried any treatments? I continue to pray for you dear friend.