Tuesday May 18 2021



In Full . . .


Posted on October 24 2013 at 12:24:52

It is now just over ten years since plans for two new schools for the Village area began to filter out from the county council.

As long ago as May 2003, villagers in Alvechurch were calling for a say in how the schools would fit into their community; they particularly wanted to be reassured that the design would solve the problems of parents littering the streets with parked cars in the mornings and afternoons.

Exactly what was said or promised back then is now hazed in the mists of time, but the early plans almost certainly included room on the school site for pupils to be dropped off and picked up.

As is the way with projects financed by private cash, modifications were made and in the end there was only room for school buses and staff car parking.

The opportunity was gone and the problem has got worse and worse, to the point where it was likely to top the agenda of Alvechurch’s new Community Safety Committee after a photo posted online showed one car parked so far across the pavement that ordinary pedestrians couldn’t walk past, never mind those pushing prams.

One idea to be discussed is using community pressure through such media as this magazine and social networking to shame motorists into showing consideration to others.

If it works, it could be used to tackle the Old Birmingham Road, Lickey, where the problem is even worse, possibly because more parents are coming from further afield.

Such initiatives are welcome and let’s hope they can make a difference, but they don’t get to the root of the problem, which is: why don’t the kids walk home from school – on a few days a week at least?

When this correspondent was seven, he’d think nothing of running or walking home from school (2.7 miles, according to Google) to save his bus fare.

That would get you from Alvechurch Middle School to anywhere in Alvechurch or Barnt Green and just about to Blackwell.

Ah, but the youngsters who might take this healthy option are unlikely to be the offspring of the parents who roll up over the pavement more than an hour before school ends, then sit there texting until their little darling waddles out.

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