Spring is finally in the air, birds are singing, tulips are blooming. Cars are still thundering past our houses, our children, sadly that doesn't seem to be seasonal. BUT! Let's stay positive, people. Because there is good news! Lots of it. As the green shoots of spring burst out, so does a little hope for a less car-centric future!
1. Oakfield and Rosemead Preps competed in the Sustrans Big Walk & Wheel competition just before Easter, and it was a triumph! Both Oakfield and Rosemead are non-catchment primary schools with parents who are hugely supportive of the need to reduce traffic locally and around schools, as well as being members of Scoot! They really pushed for this to be a big event, and with the help of local councillors Judith Cavanagh and Fred Cowell, it was! Helen Hayes, MP, also came, as did families from Rosendale School, who are also members of Lambeth Safe Routes, a new alliance of schools in the West Norwood and Dulwich constituency, to focus on the school run. We were there, handing out Scoot leaflets (and eating bike-shaped biscuits, pictured above), and engaging parents (and schools) with the need to reduce car-use and increase transport options for families when travelling to school.
2. There are consultations on everything! Do them, as that is a key way of effecting change. They give the council a mandate to change the status quo. These all close 6th May (soon!) so do get going ..& tell your friends too.
West Dulwich is undergoing a transformation. If you live there and have a chance to do the Controlled Parking Zone consultation, please do so here even (especially) if you don't have a car. It's a way of clawing public space away from parked cars, allowing more space for safe crossings, greenery, people. Also, reducing free parking near schools is an important way to start to increase the demand for more sustainable choices like mini-buses or e-bikes for the school run. And please request that it is as long as possible - we think 8am-6pm should be standard.
There is a small LTN proposed in West Dulwich, please spend some time agreeing with comments you agree with, and writing your own point of view. It's here.
And phase 3 of the Rosendale Road cycle track consultation is here. Give it your support, but let them know that we want more! A bike track up Park Hall Road, and then up Alleyn Park, where all the big non-catchment schools are.
3. Ok, stay with us here, there's more! HomeRun news. HomeRun is a sustainable travel app that measures school run car journeys and carbon footprint. It then provides ways to reduce car journeys through journey sharing. We're delighted to see that in addition to Dulwich College, further schools in Dulwich including Judith Kerr and Rosendale have rolled out the app with Kingsdale shortly to follow. We're hopeful this will give these schools in the area a much better understanding of their school run as well as providing more convenient, sustainable travel options for parents.
4. Finally (and you've done very well to stick with it so far!).. drinks! We would love to see you all, so pencil in Monday 22nd May, 8pm at the Rosendale pub. Discussion topics will include campaigning to extend safe cycling from Rosendale Rd through to the big schools on Alleyn Park Rd, better enforcement of parking around schools, and growing our wonderful network of parents.
Ta da! Our new brand! What do you think? We kind of love it. The name is based on the need for us all to hurry up and move quickly - scoot! There's no time to waste! We need less traffic now! For our children and our planet.
The beautiful design was done by the hugely talented Audrey Albert, London-based graphic designer, who feels the way we feel about levels of traffic locally, and was kind enough to get involved and lend us her considerable talents. Thanks Audrey!
We haven't decided which of these gorgeous colours will be our main logo, so will do a post on Twitter. Let us know which you prefer.
When we started SSR we had the germ of an idea, an embryo, if you will. We thought the school run had a huge impact on the level of traffic during morning rush hour. It was a little later, at the foetal point, that we recognised that the non-catchment school run was probably a big part of this. By our terrible twos, we'd figured out some of the answers; data, journey-sharing, school streets, mini-buses and cargo bikes were the main ones. Now we're five, with a gummy grin (and glassy eyes, like the girl in the pic), but we're still cute! And you can see our potential, what we're going to do, when we grow up.
To give you a sense of that potential, here's an update of where we are at with all things Sustainable School Run. We've had two new schools join up with HomeRun; Rosendale Primary School, a state catchment school in SE21, and Judith Kerr Primary School, SE24, which is 50% non-catchment, so pupils travel longer distances. This is added to Dulwich College, so there are three schools in the Dulwich cluster, with whispers that a fourth will soon be joining. Exciting times!
The more schools there are, the more we can collect data that gives a real sense of where journeys are starting and ending; how long they are; and what transport types are being used. Rather than a tide of traffic coming in and out of the area twice a day, with no sense of where it's going, we'll understand it better and then solutions can be enabled! When all the schools in the Dulwich/West Norwood constituency are onboard, our potential will be realised, and a proper picture of the local situation will be available.
In the meantime, we're also planning to pull together some of our own data, from TfL, councils, government sources, and dig a bit deeper, to help develop our knowledge of the traffic situation locally. We believe this kind of information is really helpful when it comes to local campaigners understanding the problem as well as the solutions to campaign for.
In fact, we think it will be so useful, we'd like to create a kind of "school run traffic estimator" for schools in London (within north/south circular), which will give estimates of how many kids walk, cycle, drive based on how far they live from their school. We think this kind of clarity will make it much easier for local campaigners to access and understand the data, and once they have it, they can campaign for better solutions.
To get to this point we're applying for some funding, but we're also rebranding, opening a bank account, all that grown up stuff. And we want you to be on that journey with us! Helping us along the way. So we'll be posting here regularly with updates, as well as meeting regularly at the pub for traffic chat! In fact, get your diary out, as we've got a date for the next one; Monday March 27th. Come along! Just don't tell anyone in the pub that we're actually only five years old.