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Its just hit me how much commitment driving 30mins (20miles) to school each day is.....

118 replies

aintnomountainhighenough · 26/06/2007 14:39

We have chosen an absolutely fantastic school for our DD. We have taken a lot of time over it and I have worried about various things through the process and have talked through and overcome all my worries. However one angle which I didn't really appreciate until yesterday was the drive to school.

The school is 20 miles from our house and takes about 30 mins (that was at normal school start time and in the rain). I am concerned about the effect this will have on us as a family and would be interested to hear other peoples experience of travelling this distance.


OP posts:
NoodleStroodle · 26/06/2007 14:46

DD school is not so far away but can take 15 mons to get there on a good day and 30 mins on a bad day. Yes it is a PITA but see if you can get lift sharing or is there a school bus? I just put on Radio 4 and am resigned to it!

geekgirl · 26/06/2007 14:58

I guess it depends on you

personally, I had this kind of journey with dd2 for nursery (she went to a SN nursery) and couldn't believe how much of my day it just ate up. The time in between pick-ups never seemed long enough to do anything 'major' really. I hated it, and she was only there for 2 years.

portonovo · 26/06/2007 15:40

I think it's a huge distance personally, but only you can know what impact it will have on your family life.

Do you have other children? Will they have to come with you, or when they're older will you potentially have different children with different finish times because of after-school activities?

Have you done the school run a few times? It might be that 30 mins was exceptional and that usually it will be nearer 40. Or you might be lucky and it will be 25 mins most days!

Does this mean your daughter will never be able to go to school independently or with her friends, or will she always have to rely on you or other adults?

Where do other pupils at this school live? If they all live 20 miles away, or I suppose up to 40 miles away assuming others are further away but in the other direction from you, what impact will this have on out of school activities, friendships etc? Don't underestimate that one - most of my children's friends are very local indeed, but there are a few who live in villages only 3-5 miles away and arranging things with them is a real pain. There is no independence, no spontaneity, everything has to be micro-managed according to who can bring them into town/take them back again. I'm thinking more of older children here, but even at primary level it's still a factor.

I would try and do the drive lots of times, at both the start and end of the school day, and see if it alters your opinion or if you think you would be comfortable with that.

frogs · 26/06/2007 15:49

I currently have a 30-minute drive to get dd2 to and from nursery because we've moved house and her new nursery doesn't start till September. Frankly, it's a nightmare. As geekgirl says it carves up your day into little chunks, ensuring that you get naff all done, but are permanently tired from all the chasing around. I can't wait to be shot of this setup.

LIZS · 26/06/2007 15:56

We used to do a 8ish mile drive which took 20-25 minutes on average. Can you really do 20 miles in 30 minutes at peak time regularly? In the snow it took me over an hour and a half one morning. Would not recommend it tbh as overall the school run itself could easily take an hour and a half to 2 hours out of my time, which in itself was not a problem but it makes for a long day especially when you factor in siblings whose start and finish times do not correspond and any after school activities. There is a bus but it left from the pick up point in another village at almost the same time as we'd leave the house anyway so dd's day would be equally as long. We regularly didn't get home until 4.30/5.00 by which time it was too late to do many local activities.

We've since moved a lot closer (2 minute drive) and the quality of our lives and flexibility has changed radically for the better. Also the saving in petrol now is huge I was doing over 160 miles a week on the school run alone, using almost a tank every 10 days or so - 80 miles a day is a lot.

fennel · 26/06/2007 15:58

We moved 2 miles and suddenly our 1 mile cycle ride turned into a 20 minute car journey. So we switched schools. Couldn't bear the thought of doing that school run in the car for the next 6 or 9 years (my youngest was only 2 at the time). New school not officially as good but the 5 minute walk or cycle or scoot to it is wonderful. As is knowing that new friends from school tend to live very close by.

aintnomountainhighenough · 26/06/2007 16:01

Thank you for your posts. Yes I am concerned about how this is going to eat into my day and how I am going to juggle this with work etc.

Portnovo I will have to take my ds with us until he starts there in 2 years time. The other children at the school are scattered so yes it will mean arranging any playdates well in advance although I am not so concerned about this as she has some friends locally who I am going to put my best efforts into continuing.

I am feeling very frustrated about this as I desperately want her to go to this school however realistically am struggling to see how it will work .

OP posts:
YohoAhoy · 26/06/2007 16:05

Think it does depend on what else you need to do - work, siblings arrangements etc.

Ds & dd go to a school about 20-30 minutes away (depending on tractors/tourist traffic!)

The school's in a town with all our nearest shops etc (we're very rural) so we'd be making the trip in quite frequently anyway, and it's nice to go in, drop off the kids, do shopping and get home at reasonable hour.

Also helps DH & I run business from home, so alternate the drop-off/pick ups.

After a while I confess I don't really think about the journey. It's just what we do.

Lots of others at the school come from similar distances, so we're not the odd one out.

Yes, it does involve a bit of ferrying for trips to friends etc, but as everyone's largely doing it, it's not so bad.

Also there is a bus they can take which we might go for when they're older.

Hope there's something there that's useful!

FluffyMummy123 · 26/06/2007 16:05

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geekgirl · 26/06/2007 16:10

I really, really wouldn't do it if I was in your position.
I used to feel so guilty for making ds spend over 2 hours strapped into his carseat every day, and whenever one of the other children was ill it'd be extra-crap.

And I really can't see how you'd fit in work as well into your day.

I also used huge amounts of petrol which is something else you need to consider.

Would you really want to do this day in, day out for 9 years?

FluffyMummy123 · 26/06/2007 16:11

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FluffyMummy123 · 26/06/2007 16:11

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NKF · 26/06/2007 16:13

The problem as I see it, it's not so much the drive as that drive five days a week, many weeks of the year for seven years. And longer if you have younger children going to that school. That on top of your journey to work. It would do my head in and I would only tolerate it if I really couldn't bear to move house or to send my children to a nearer school. But it obviously wouldn't trouble some people.

frogs · 26/06/2007 16:13

What Cod said, really.

I'd only do this if I lived somewhere so remote that this was the only feasible school. The alternative would have to be pretty ruddy terrible for me to contemplate carrying on our current setup the nursery is only 3 miles away, but in London traffic takes 30 mins. I've only been doing it for 6 weeks, and have lost the will to live already. Another four weeks I can just about contemplate another nine years, no no no!

If there were really no other school, I'd move house.

FluffyMummy123 · 26/06/2007 16:13

Message withdrawn

lulumama · 26/06/2007 16:16

i think that the toll it will take will be huge

lower your standards a touch and reap the benefits of a nearer school. less travelling, less hassle, more chance of being able to do rota of taking / collecting, playdates, less petrol, less money etc

LadyVictoriaOfCake · 26/06/2007 16:20

when we moved, dd1 nursery was a good 20mins away. drove me mad. but it was just for one term.

we did consider keeping her original school placement in our old town, but decide4d that a 20-30min journey everyday wasnt worth it (was an excallent school, but were closer also excellant schools), especially seeing that dd2 would be in a nursery in the opposite direction. we got her into an OK school(1mile) whilst she went onto the waiting list for an excellant more local school(.5mile) and got a palce there in year 1.

unless there is no other option at all, i would not do it.

apaprt from the huge chunk of your day it would take, the costs of petrol will be high, and the enviromental impact would make me feel very guilty.

roisin · 26/06/2007 16:29

Is it 20 miles each way? i.e. you'll be spending 2 hrs in the car every day? Clocking up 200 miles every school week?

bundle · 26/06/2007 16:31

not just fussy

think of the carbon
think of the wasted hours
think of the lack of friends close to home you can just be spontaneous with

it's a no-brainer

frogs · 26/06/2007 16:34

Bundle, I hear your dd2 has squeaked into dd1 school -- congratulations!

bundle · 26/06/2007 16:35

thanks frogs, xxx

frogs · 26/06/2007 16:36

More than I've managed bundle -- mine are going to be at 2 schools a 15 minute jog apart. Luckily the start/finish times are also 15 mins apart, but not ideal.

aintnomountainhighenough · 26/06/2007 16:41

Again thank you for your posts. It sounds stupid after having looked at the school 3 times that it only struck me yesterday how difficult this is going to be.

Yes there is a local school which I guess I will have to send her to and see how it goes. It certainly will mean lowering my standards!

OP posts:
geekgirl · 26/06/2007 16:43

better to realise it now than in the first week of term

even if your local school isn't up to scratch, aren't there others in the vicinity?

meandmyflyingmachine · 26/06/2007 16:43

That's the spirit!

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