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How far does your DC walk to school?

(32 Posts)
WankerDeAsalWipe Tue 01-Sep-15 19:31:03

and do you think it is manageable?

or what do you think is a reasonable everyday walk to and from school?

redskybynight Tue 01-Sep-15 19:37:04

DS only walks 15 minutes to secondary school. But his walk to primary was 1.5 miles (about 30 minutes) although he did mostly cycle it. Some of his friends walked 2 miles (40 minutes) to primary school though - I'd say that was probably the furthest that it makes sense to walk just because of the time taken. But cycling a bit further (fairly sure he knows folks at secondary who do 5-6 miles) would be perfectly doable?

OnTheBirdBranch Tue 01-Sep-15 19:38:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BackforGood Tue 01-Sep-15 19:42:33

Most direct route is 1.5miles.
They both add a bit on to that by picking up friends from various points that aren't quite 'along the way', but not a huge amount more.

Er- yes, of course it's manageable or they wouldn't be doing it... dd1 had done it for 5 yrs, dd2 is at the start of Yr9, so for 2 yrs so far.

If they have stayed to something after school and would otherwise be walking home, late, on their own, then I will fetch them if I am able (my work schedule varies day to day). About twice a year, on the odd day when it's really been persisting down, they will jump in with dh on his way to work and then twiddle their thumbs at school for an hour, but they'd rather walk.

WankerDeAsalWipe Tue 01-Sep-15 19:44:02

Hmm, thanks for that - just trying to work something out. DSs school is 6 miles away but there is no safe cycling route (half of it is up a 60mph windy country road and means crossing a roundabout at the head of a motorway too). I currently drive them their and back but for various reasons I'd like them to be able to make their own way.

There is some public transport but it means a 1.7 mile to train or bus stop and then another mile uphill at the other end. Basically it turns a 10/15 minute car journey into an over the hour journey each way.

WankerDeAsalWipe Tue 01-Sep-15 19:48:04

yeah, bit of a stupid question backforgood just meant was it okay or a bit of a strain or whatever smile

redskybynight Tue 01-Sep-15 19:51:46

Could you drop them off at the bus/train stop maybe? Would give them a bit of independence but make the journey time a bit easier. Imagine there will be other children walking from the bus/train at the school end so that bit will feel easier.

WankerDeAsalWipe Tue 01-Sep-15 19:57:32

Thanks redsky - it's hard to explain, but at the moment i sort of do a loop where I drop them at school and then head down to work. If I go directly to work I'd generally head in the opposite direction from where they need to go. Basically the way the road goes, by the time I drop them up at the station/bus stop for me to double back and then go to work is almost as long as it is just to carry on and take them to school so i wouldn't really achieve much and would still tie me to being technically late for work every day (I have to make up the difference at home in the evening).

This is me into my 4th year of doing it and still have another 4 to go sad

BackforGood Tue 01-Sep-15 19:59:28

I think Redsky's suggestion is a good one.
My dds tend to take about 50 - 55mins to dawdle to school, and home again, but they only have to do the walk - so they stroll along, collecting friends along the way and put the world to rights as they go.
I wouldn't fancy a 1.7 mile walk to the train, and then a further mile's walk at the end. If I wouldn't fancy it, then I figure I wouldn't ask my dc to.
If you drop them at the station then it sounds like a good compromise all round.

BackforGood Tue 01-Sep-15 19:59:55

oops x-post

WankerDeAsalWipe Tue 01-Sep-15 20:00:29

My thinking that if they only had one walk or the other then it's doable everyday but both is a bit much to do every day but ok on an occasional basis.

We are in Scotland and do get snow/sleet regularly in the winter as well as a lot of rain so not the best of conditions - think I am just going to have to get on with it but was wondering if I was overly soft and that other DC were doing similar distances all the time.

IHaveBrilloHair Tue 01-Sep-15 20:00:36

Half an hour, I'd think up to about 45 min is fine.

WankerDeAsalWipe Tue 01-Sep-15 20:08:03

Not that I want to drip feed, but here is my extra dilemma. I currently take another child who is in the same year as my elder DS. I also used to take his older sibling for the first two years and sporadically last year as they had a different timetable and also had learned to drive. Anyway, it was starting to get a bit of a squash latterly as my DSs are really tall. I reluctantly changed my car to one with a bit more leg room. Also my two used to argue all the time about having to sit squashed in the middle.

Since I've just been taking the 3, it's been fine.

Childs mum has just asked me if I will take younger sibling next year. I've said no and that I am actually looking to wean my own of lifts, but now I feel guilty even though it isn't my problem and the mum has never been prepared to transport regularly.

Eldest sibling of child used to get bus regularly before I started driving but at that point there was no walk at the school end as bus used to go into and pick up from school.

WankerDeAsalWipe Tue 01-Sep-15 20:15:01

So dilemma is that having decided that I don't think it's manageable for my children, I would be leaving other children to do it when technically I have space in my car.

I know that it's not my problem and that's for them to sort out but I'm a soft touch.

BackforGood Tue 01-Sep-15 21:10:09

Don't the other family drive?
Couldn't you split the days?

I don't mind giving people lifts myself if I'm going somewhere anyway, so I can see how it might have come about, but, as you are looking to stop the daily drive, then I'd either be asking them if they could take turns, or, if they don't drive, look into other options...... phone a taxi company perhaps and ask if it would take all 4 of them to the station each day? I wouldn't have thought it would be much for a short hop like that, between 4 of them.

BackforGood Tue 01-Sep-15 21:10:34

- or even to school might be cheaper than the train.

WankerDeAsalWipe Tue 01-Sep-15 21:24:03

Yes both parents drive and Mum doesn't work though tells me she is planning on going to do a MA next year. They give me something towards petrol. They have no intention of driving it and whilst if I am stuck, they have done the drop off or pick up (maybe a couple of times over the last 3 years) thy don't want to do a share.

They are a lot better off than we are but I guess they don't like spending. Elder siblings buss-pass was more than they pay for petrol. I don't want a bigger financial contribution. It covers probably about half the extra that I use to do the school run and I have never wanted to be financially dependant on what they give me so that technically I can stop when I feel like it.

I have kept doing the job I do as it does give me the flexibility I need for the school run and I've prioritised my children. That's my choice, they dont do that and that's fine, their choice too.

I just can't shake the guilt I feel and as if I am being unreasonable when they aren't my children.

I did mention that we could see about doing some other transport and maybe see if other parents were interested in maybe seeing if we could get a minibus/taxi (we are the furthest away but i do know that there are other parents who live closer to the station etc that drive too). She just exclaimed that that would be really expensive.

RandomMess Tue 01-Sep-15 21:27:51

Urgh their attitude stinks - basically their time is far more precious than yours...

WankerDeAsalWipe Tue 01-Sep-15 21:39:29

The are sort of nice (sometimes I am not convinced!) We do have a closer school, but the school they all go to is more academic and we went mainly because DS1 was bullied and we needed to have him go to High school not already being a target. that's why DH and I took the decision that we would sacrifice the time to take ours to school. DH can't do it as his job is simply not flexible in the way mine is.

Ii am absolutely sure that the other parents wouldn't be considering my children in their plans and I should just do the same but as I say I am a soft touch.

I wonder sometimes if I am doing it wrong and if I coddle mine too much (hence the original question) as her DC generally seem a lot more independent and self motivated.

RandomMess Tue 01-Sep-15 21:51:24

It's tricky. We are 2.3 miles from school. So due to the hills and dd3 being very short and a naturally slow walker takes her nearly an hour. She also got hit by a car so there is a particularly horrid road that she still gets panic attacks about crossing...

School or public bus are very expensive. So I drop about half way on the way to school (do a loop route to work) but they walk home.

I think 6 miles is too far to walk however is there a reasonable solution to giving them more independence that would benefit them?

WankerDeAsalWipe Tue 01-Sep-15 22:14:54

Only alternatives are:

Bus or train with walk at either end as described above plus much longer day. This is also awkward as DSs do other activities plus are both doing DofE (one Silver and one Bronze) at the same time which means they are out most evenings for a bit (Mum/Dad's taxi again!). One of the days DS2 needs to be back out house again by 5.40.

Pay for a taxi - still door to door but could be getting themselves out the door to go while I am already at work but will probably cost ££ plus there is availability (maybe need some sort of contract taxi so they need to be approved to do school transport I think)

Not worth me taking them half way as doesn't save me any time really and makes it still my responsibility.

Maybe there is something i am missing here but not sure what. Maybe I could get them to get themselves home a couple of days a week when it's not so time critical. I've just looked up and only bus they can get is at just after 8am meaning they'd have to leave about 7.20 and they'd be in school at 8.30 - half an hour before start - train looks better but station is a little further than the bus stop.

WankerDeAsalWipe Tue 01-Sep-15 22:19:49

Sorry about your DD3 btw sad

RandomMess Tue 01-Sep-15 22:23:55

No breakfast provision at school at the canteen?

I don't think the minicab would need to be school transport approved if you were funding it. Worth finding out the cost I guess - perhaps they could just drop them part way there in the mornings and you do pick ups 3 times per week and they get themselves home the non-time critical?

It doesn't seem that the easiest solution overall is for you to carry on taking & collecting... Do you take them all the way or at least drop a few hundred metres away or something?

WankerDeAsalWipe Tue 01-Sep-15 22:25:31

It's only £1.40 for a child return on the train whereas it's £2 each way on the bus.

Technically a child ticket only goes up to age 15 and they need to pay an adult fare at 16 but I've been told that mostly the conductor will just charge them a child ticket if they are in Uniform (uniform is compulsory)

I'm now thinking that they could maybe scooter to the station, there are bike lockers so could get one between them to stow the scooters in? Not sure how those work/how much they cost.

DrDreReturns Tue 01-Sep-15 22:29:32

My son walks about 15 mins / half a mile to school. Perfectly manageable imo.

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