My daughter attends stage school in Paignton on a Saturday morning and, as we live in Teignmouth, it’s just that bit too far to get home and back. Hence, like many other parents all over the UK, we end up hanging around for hours wondering what to do with ourselves whilst our little ones are oblivious to our plight.
Last weekend I thought I had a fantastic solution. I would get my fitbit footsteps up and take my two year old for a walk in his buggy. My daughter’s stage school is located in South Devon College, Paginton and there has been some substantial investment in new pavements and footpaths in the area, plus I needed a few things from the local Sainsbury’s, not far away but far enough to look impressive to my fitbit! What I didn’t bank on was how difficult that was going to be with a buggy!
Firstly, we had a super bit of new pavement to walk along from the college and toward the local Paignton Aldi but then it ran out! So we crossed the road on to another new footpath making our way towards Sainsbury’s
on the opposite side of the road. This is where it got complicated as I now needed to cross the road but to do this I had to cross at a set of traffic lights without any pedestrian give way after pushing the buggy over a grass verge. As if that wasn’t dicing with death enough, once I crossed the road there wasn’t a pavement in sight!
Feeling relieved I had even made it in one piece to the supermarket, I then had a giggle to myself to find that there was a bridge over the road I had missed on the way.
That would make things easier I thought mistakenly. After our bit of shopping, I then discovered that there was no ramp to get to the bridge. So I had to push the buggy up all the steps to access the bridge.
Once getting over the bridge I found two dead-end roads and one going in the opposite direction to where I wanted to go. So now to get back on the nice new footpath I had to abseil down a very steep bank.
As I’ve had a big gap in my children, I had forgotten how difficult it can be getting about with a buggy and how little Council’s take this in to consideration when designing roads and new footpaths, especially as most Council’s are desperately trying to get us to give up our cars and use some form of alternative transport. Furthermore, with an obesity crisis, isn’t giving us safe footpaths to walk on and get exercise all part of the solution. How those with a double buggy manage and the disabled, I don’t know? Come on Devon! It should be easier for us to get around than this!