Residents anger as Dulwich Prep School auctions off parking space – Brixton Buzz
The sale of a parking space for £5,000 at a school ball in Dulwich has angered locals. Frustrated by the high attendance during the school race, the sale of a parking space for a school year, as part of a charity auction, caused outrage.
Dulwich Prep London, a private primary school in Dulwich, offered the parking space as a prize at a charity auction.
“There is simply no better place to park your vehicle,” says the auctioneer’s blurb. “Your commute to and from school will be hassle-free and seamless.”
Other prizes included a chef’s table for ten at Marcus Wareing at the Berkeley, which came to £6,500.
Local councilor for the neighboring ward, Fred Cowell, said;
“It’s really disappointing to see this. School traffic puts huge pressure on West Dulwich and is the main source of congestion on Croxted Road.
Promoting sustainable trips to school requires both infrastructure and a comprehensive culture change. Auctioning of parking spaces runs counter to this.
High levels of school traffic around Dulwich Prep have also become a huge problem for school management.
An email from the director, Louise Davidson, acknowledged this last year;
“As I greet you and your children each morning, I witness multiple incidents of unsafe/illegal parking and obstruction of residents’ driveways by parents and nannies.” She goes on to highlight an accident where a “child from another local school was knocked off his bike, sustaining significant injuries that required hospitalization.”
Parents of school children also felt that auctioning a parking space sent the wrong message and seemed to encourage parents to drive to school.
A parent, who did not want to be named, said;
“We all know the traffic situation here is terrible, with increased pollution and appalling road safety. Why do they prioritize the convenience of one person parking, rather than the safety of the majority of children who do not travel by car?
The fact that it was to raise money for the pediatric unit at Kings Hospital does not help matters – the case study presented by Kings staff was about therapy after a traffic accident .
Research by local campaign group Sustainable School Run shows that there are 11,000 car journeys in the Dulwich and West Norwood area every day, transporting children to area schools. “Unserved schools are a significant contributor to West Dulwich’s deeply distressing congestion.”
A school neighbor, Chris Langdon said;
“The build-up of traffic around local streets is ridiculous at drop-off and pick-up times. Lots of drivers sitting in traffic, blocking our driveways. I think schools could do a lot more.
There is no one answer, but car use needs to be reduced and flogging a parking space doesn’t seem like a smart solution at this point!
The school has been approached for comment, but at the time of publication has not responded.