Whilst I am very much in favour to put in any pollution cutting measures possible, and I think making anything to do with driving cars will help that idea, at the same time I need to consider what is actually needed – currently – to enable people to function.
Ever since man invented the wheel, human society has developed more and more into a commuting mass of travellers.
People commute to work, commute to visit relatives, commute to do business, a lot of transport takes place to deliver goods and of course there is space travel.
Space travel interests me the least as there are definitely no swimming pools in space or on other planets.
Whilst I reside in close vicinity of the LAC and have easy local transport by bus and rail to the venue and have lots of time, as I am retired, I know many people who have to juggle work and kids’ sport, which is quite difficult.
For a start, swimmers need lots of equipment. My child cannot carry that equipment around with her all day, there are no lockers in her school. Whilst we do have a locker at the LAC, there is still a fresh towel and food needed. On land-training days, another lot of equipment needs to be taken.
Especially as school kids often need to be taken straight from school to swimming, they require to take in nourishment in good time prior to the swim. Working parents allow their kids to eat in the car, we have to do it on the train.
Working parents tend to work anywhere in London or even outside of it, they have to dash after work to collect the child from school, allow it some time to eat in the car, then travel to the LAC and bring the training equipment with them. Not even working parents can carry stuff around at work with them; often lockers that employers provide are quite small. Often work places are not near public transport that swiftly delivers parents near the place of their child’s school either.
So which ever way I look at it, I have to support free parking for working swimming club parents at the LAC because there is an infra-structure in place, that makes people commute to work and commute to sport and because people no longer work where they live and kids go to school and sport outside of their immediate living area, we need to travel.
We cannot now just quickly change the way society works and must allow parents to park their cars, because around the LAC area, there are no free parking spaces to be found. Of course around other pools, in less expensive areas, there are plenty of free parking spaces in roads or even near the venue, but the LAC area is very expensive and each inch of the land is valuable.
Perhaps the LAC can raise money by appealing to the government to give them some funding because those privately funded schemes do not always work because the common, working people who have to fund them eventually run out of money.
Parents already pay a lot of money for the sport and there is a tipping point for everyone. A recent initiative saw parents appeal directly to the LAC management.
Everyone is on edge about the result of that enquiry. The Newham Recorded also commented on the issue.
But obviously if the Lac DECIDES to keep those parking costs for all then the LACPP swimming club for younger members will stay affordable only for either very rich parents or for those lucky enough to live in close vicinity of the venue. This would be discriminating against other parents who cannot afford it any longer like police officer Dave Wardell, who will have to change club for his daughters, as the BBC reports.
The government was so proud to have produced an ‘affordable’ Olympic venue that is now successfully used in the aftermath of the 2012 Olympics yet, for many parents with children, the venue is still not a local neighbourhood, especially not for those with competitive swimmers who have trained for years already at other clubs to get fast enough to join the high-end competitive club LACPP.
Perhaps in the future younger local swimmers grow up in the local club but that is perhaps a decade down the line.