Letter to the Editor
• I share J Roach’s concern for the health of children in today’s traffic-dominated world (How the school run blights the lives of all our children, Letters, December 3).
But I do not understand why school run parents are always accused of being the major cause of road pollution.
It’s a sure bet if the subject arises in conversation, one of the first things to be heard, from either sex, is: “Oh, those women in their 4x4s picking their children up from school!”
No one ever seems to point out the roads are, in fact, groaning all day long under a very macho culture of enormous boys’ toys: 20 foot vans 10 feet high, excessively large lorries, gigantic building trucks and huge 4x4 pick-ups, often with the words “warrior” or “animal” inscribed on the doors.
These roar around from dawn till dusk (while school runs take up two hours in total), or are squashed into gridlocks and jams.
They sometimes park or drive across pavements and can be always relied upon to sit parked with their engines running indefinitely, blasting diesel fumes at child height.
Certainly, the school run doesn’t help (and could parents please switch off their engines while parked waiting too?).
But blaming the mums while ignoring the blokes is like an alcoholic on a bottle of whisky plus three cans of lager being slated and despised for the lager. If anything, parents have the nearest it comes to having a right to drive, to protect their children from the blatant excesses of aggressive, masculine, road culture.
Hornsey Lane, London N6