Sunday, 20 April 2008

Richmond Council targets 4x4-driving-mums - good for them!

I read with interest an articlein The Independent, reporting on Richmond Borough council's plans to start charging parents up to £75 to park outside their local school. I quote:

A pilot project in the London borough of Richmond upon Thames starts in September, affecting 13 schools, and the Local Government Association says similar schemes are likely to be extended across the country.
In Richmond, where the plans have already drawn fire from families and motoring organisations, the permits will allow parents to park in bays near the school for 15 minutes.
The price will be linked to the car's carbon dioxide emissions - drivers of small, low-polluting cars will get a free permit, but parents with people carriers or four-wheel drives will be charged the maximum £75.

Seems like a good plan to me; some parents these days think it is their right to buy a big Range Rover to get their little darlings safely off to school. There are a dozen of them parked outside my school every weekday afternoon. So I think the policy of charging owners of gas-guzzling cars make sense.

Obviously, parents and motoring organisations have attempted to fight back against this new policy. But their arguments are rather weak. This quote in particular made me laugh:

Paul Watters, the AA's head of public affairs, told the paper: "People carriers may be in the higher carbon dioxide bands, but they are very efficient at getting kids to school, considering many are seven-seaters. It might be a better idea to remove the many smaller cars that clog the streets up."

Well yes. But who has 6 children? Since the sitcom 2point4 children, the average number of children per family has decreased to about 1.6, yet the number of parents driving their children to school in ridiculously big cars has noticeably increased. Doesn't make much sense to me. Now, if two or more families choose to share lifts, that's fine, but in those cases the cost of the permit would be shared, right? Furthermore, isn't it the point of buses, not people carriers, to remove cars from the road?
Once again, well done Richmond, for leading the way in discouraging parents from buying ridiculously big 4x4s. I commend you. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to drive my 50 mpg car to lifeguards, picking my friend up on the way. Every little helps, as they say.

Now playing: The Kooks - You Don't Love Me
via FoxyTunes

1 comment:

intensive driving said...

The trouble is that at the same time the government is penalising parents who have larger cars the government is doing precious little to improve safety on our roads.
Home Office figures show that there were 11,546 offences of aggravated vehicle taking (the closest offence category to joyriding) in 2003-04, an 18% increase over the last five years.
The government's response - more speed cameras and tax the people who fear for their kids safety.