Car lobbyist Morgan now insists: don’t walk, it’s dangerous

Walking to school is dangerous.

That’s the considered advice of a … car campaigner from Coulsdon, as he tries to block a Croydon Council initiative to reduce polluting exhausts and to get some of the borough’s primary-aged children daily exercise on their journeys to school.

Peter Morgan cuts an increasingly ridiculous figure in his strident pro-vehicle rants, through social media and emails. He has been caught out using multiple digital identities to pervert the course of online consultations, been accused of illegally plastering campaign stickers over public property, while his bid to take over as chairman of the East Coulsdon Residents’ Association recently failed to muster much support, especially after he tried to block a 91-year-old Holocaust survivor from giving a talk to their meeting.

Having been kicked out of both the Croydon Conservatives and UKIP – where he was considered a constantly disruptive figure – this latest intervention really ought not surprise anyone. Nor be taken particularly seriously.

Morgan is the local representative of a fringe organisation calling itself the Association of British Drivers.

He is now leading a “campaign” against a scheme from the council, backed by the participating schools, to reduce congestion and, yes, danger on the roads by banning parents from parking their cars within set distance of school gates.

Some parents have objected to the walk-to-school scheme because it takes them longer to get their kids to or from school.

In a round-robin email headlined “DANGERS OF CHILDREN WALKING TO SCHOOL”, sent to a wide circulation list ahead of a meeting tonight of what Morgan calls the Coulsdon and Purley Road User Forum, he writes, “Children are safest being taken to school by car, and being dropped off as close to the school as possible.

“Walking is a dangerous mode, with only cycling and motor cycling more dangerous.

“Compelling children to cross busy main roads exposes them to a variety of dangers.”

Morgan’s even opposed to kids taking the bus to school because, he says, “you have to walk to the bus – and after getting off it”. Who’d have thunk it?

Peter Morgan: the face of ABD in Croydon

In an effort to prove his point, Morgan links to a video, from Norway, in which a group of schoolchildren disembark from a bus and then cross the road without properly looking for on-coming traffic. A collision with a large lorry is narrowly avoided, thankfully.

In this video which Morgan holds up as proof positive that walking to school is dangerous, no one was hurt.

But in the world inhabited by Morgan, this “shows why travel by main mode bus is actually far more risky than simple-minded statistics may suggest”.

Of course, for Morgan, the thought of reducing the number of vehicles on our roads as a means of reducing the risk of traffic collisions and pollution has never occurred.

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This entry was posted in Coulsdon, Coulsdon East, Croydon Council, Environment, Parking, Schools, Stuart King, Transport, Walks and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Car lobbyist Morgan now insists: don’t walk, it’s dangerous

  1. What an arse.

  2. Thinking just a little outside the box, the current boom in planning consents and possible construction of flats in central Croydon is likely to create more and certainly longer journeys for parents/carers to get their children to school. I suspect that statistics will show that the longer the journey, either by foot or car, the higher the risk. If central Croydon residents are expected to use the proposed new school on Purley Way then that is very high risk both re the journey and also pollution from Peter’s beloved cars.

  3. Lewis White says:

    With education, the quality of the educational grass must seem higher the further out from the middle of London, or on the other side of the borough boundary fence, so huge numbers of children from further in to London get driven by mum or dad outwards to the green pastures of the Woodcote schools to receive their education, resulting in congestion on the main road and side streets near the schools.

    No doubt, depending on their age and how close they live, there must be many local children who could walk to school with a friend or parent, but working parents may need to get to work by car, and it makes sense for the to drop their child off , en route.

    No doubt too, there are local parents who would never walk anywhere, and drive to the school with the child, who will probably end up without the core health built up by walking or cycling to school.

    To be realistic, the Woodcote schools are at the top of a massive hill, if approached from the East or South, and are distanced to the North from Sutton and Wallington by several miles of countryside and suburbs — with the only direct access along main roads with heavy traffic in rush hours. I do not think that any primary school children would be safe cycling to school along these, and even over 13’s would find them difficult.

    So, in my opinion ( and I used to cycle from Woodmansterne to Sutton every day “way back when” I went to senior school in Sutton– entailing a combined daily descent and ascent of around 1000 feet per day, over 4 miles (each way) — cycling to school is not really ever going to be suitable for huge numbers of children in the hilly South of Croydon.

    In the US, big yellow school buses collect the children from all over, and deliver them to school, thus obviating the need for kids to get dropped off car, by mom or dad. This reduces air pollution, and road congestion, and must give the kids a bit of a walk to and from the bus.

    Maybe we in Croydon need more school buses, and ban school drop offs by car within the local streets. That way the children would get a little bit of fresh air in their juvenile lungs, and get a bit of exercise. With the way obesity among the young is increasing, any bit of physical activity must be good ?

    We also need to build schools in the places where people live, so the kids can walk to school.

    No easy fixes, but on balance, Peter Morgan’s car- cocooned school transport vision doesn’t seem very good for juvenile health, congestion or air pollution.

  4. Lewis White says:

    Brilliant graphic from Nick.
    “Natch…. Chelsea tractors all round ! So safe ! Jasper and Jacintha really love it too, so much space for doing last minute homework on the way to school.

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