Chorlton Park School has long had a sign outside that reads, ‘The Children of Chorlton Park say: “Show you care park elsewhere”’. Sadly many of the parents of the seven to eleven year olds who attend the school don’t realise this means them (who else?) or that it extends to dropping off (which is particularly dangerous as hassled parents are prone to pull out without looking once the little darling has shut the door).
Consequently, I’m used to congestion as I drive past the school, which is on a corner with this dual carriageway. There are two flash points; parents stopping to dump offspring onto the grass verge that separates the two carriageways of Mauldeth Road West (i.e. in the middle of the road) and parents performing u-turns about the grass verge.
In defiance of reality, crossing patrols are positioned at points that assume children walk to school. So it’s not uncommon to see a plump, smartly dressed seven or eight year old, weighed down by their green ‘Chorlton Park School’ satchel and much else, fall out of the back of a car into the middle of the road, scramble to their feet and cross the road while ducking and diving between other cars in the process of just dropping off kids.
This morning things were different. Traffic was relatively free moving. There were police in bright florescent jackets (they don’t take the risks parents impose on their kids) on the grass verge. Each time a car door opened, they jogged up and closed it. Meanwhile, the school gates were covered off by at least three traffic wardens.
You’d think that the high profile of the police and traffic wardens would ensure than no parent was stupid enough to attempt an illegal manoeuvre. You’d be wrong. There was a queue for on the spot fines. (It would be nice to think these fines would pay for it all.)