Sometimes the Government comes up with really stupid ways to implement their policies. Most of us are aware that reducing our carbon-footprint is a good idea but one idea in my area is going to be counterproductive on two counts.
Forest Hill School for Boys in South East London is being totally rebuilt. The rebuild includes a new sports centre and a theatre (it is a Performing Arts specialist school) which will both be used by the public in the evenings and weekends. All to the good since they are being paid for by public money so the public should be able to use them.
Unfortunately there is to be no car-park. Apparantly, in order to get the funds for the rebuild, one of the conditions the school had to agree to was that they would lose their car-park. All part of the policyof encouraging people to use public transport and reduce their carbon footprint, apparantly.
Trouble is, the public transport links here are fine if you’re travelling to and from stations between here and Central London or between here and Croydon otherwise it’s pretty rubbish. As a consequence, of the school’s 220 staff, 140 come to work by car.
The school is in the middle of a council estate that consists of low-rises and tower blocks, all with insufficient parking so most of us have to park on the street. The result of this policy will be another 140 cars driving round the streets every morning trying to find somewhere to park. Residents on shift work returning home will have nowhere to park – they have to drive to work wherever it is because there are no buses and trains at night. People using the theatre and sports centre will have nowhere to park.
As a result of this wonderful idea, hundreds of cars will be driving round and round our streets adding god knows how much carbon dioxide and other emissions to the atmosphere, adding a little bit to e global warming and doing a lot to make the local environment unpleasant. Not to mention it is going to piss off a lot of locals who may therefore be that much less inclined to listen to or act on future initiatives.