Now belated action is to be taken by police to end the daily term-time spectacle of dozens of cars strewn haphazardly along Wellington Road, many parked illegally, as their harassed owners collect their children from the schools located there.
In this stressful era of time-poor, necessarily two-income families, there will be a degree of sympathy with the plight of the law-breakers. However, their conduct results in the creation of an obstacle course that frustrates other road-users on one of the main routes between St Helier and St Saviour and makes it only a matter of time before accidents happen.
Clearly that is the last thing that parents want to result from actions they have taken with the very opposite intention, that of protecting their children. Sadly, though, an overdeveloped sense of entitlement has led some to take a rather proprietorial view of the public highway and a stage has been reached at which the new approach being adopted by St Saviour’s honorary police, who have lost patience and promised to move on or book illegal parkers from today, is fully justified.
Parents who have chosen to flout the law have been duly warned and can have little to complain about. Their parking needs are a matter, mundane enough in itself, to be solved in consultation with the schools concerned. However, the whole Wellington Road episode also serves as an illustration of wider problems for modern society which merit fuller consideration by parish and States authorities.
The school run will always be a problem to some degree but it is interesting to speculate on how different things might be with a more innovative approach to some of the issues raised by implication.
The shortcomings of Jersey’s public transport system have once again been highlighted, as has our continuing but increasingly unsustainable addiction to the private car. As well as environmental issues, social and economic concerns ranging from work-life balance and family-friendly employment policies to personal taxation and the cost of living all have a bearing on problems of this kind and their possible solution, a situation which should not be lost on a new Council of Ministers as it sets about rethinking public policy and political strategy in a changed world.