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After-school pickup nightmare

The bus stop outside Masterton Primary School. PHOTO/CHELSEA BOYLE


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After-school pickups have become a nightmare for some parents, with one Masterton woman parking 50 minutes before school finishes just to get a spot.

And it seems some of the worst of the congestion could be down to parents parking in the bus stop.

Loretta Gadsby had managed to grab a coveted park near the entrance of Masterton Primary School when her car was sideswiped by the bus dropping off kids from a trip.

She said the driver had not been able to use the bus stop because it was filled up with other cars and had pulled up next to her instead.

“As he reversed, he was getting closer and closer to my car, and when he pulled out he swiped my car.

“There’s quite a bit of damage to it – the bumpers been pushed out, the lights been pushed out and there’s a big scratch right along the side of my bumper.

“The bus driver didn’t even know he just drove off.”

But she does not hold anything against the driver, instead taking umbrage with the number of people who thought it was okay to park in the bus stop.

The front of Loretta Gadsby’s car was swiped outside Masterton Primary School by a bus that could not use the nearby bus stop. PHOTO/CHELSEA BOYLE
The front of Loretta Gadsby’s car was swiped outside Masterton Primary School by a bus that could not use the nearby bus stop. PHOTO/CHELSEA BOYLE

She said the congestion that was building during pickup time was “horrible”.

“I get a bit scared sitting down there now.

“I fear for the safety of the children.”

She generally gets to school 50 minutes early to get a good park because she does not want her 11-year-old daughter wandering up and down the road.

If there are lots of cars parked up, it was hard for children to see the road, she said.

“I’ve seen a kid come out, quick glance and then just run across the road.”

The school had told her they had tried to patrol the bus stop before, but had only received abuse in the past.

“I’ve noticed police drive past and they haven’t even stopped and said, ‘hey you can’t park here’.”

It was an accident waiting to happen, she said.

Masterton Primary School principal Sue Walters said parking was “always at premium” because there were 350 kids and 45 staff on this site not to mention those attending the nearby kindergarten.

People seemed to think if they had to walk farther than 10m their “legs will fall off”.

“Everybody wants to park, presumably right outside the principal’s office.”

Wait until they go to Wairarapa College, she said.

They had involved the Masterton District Council and police before, but it was difficult to put an end to people parking in the bus stop.

“My authority ends at the gate.”

There was a second access point to the school on Patea Pl, parents could use that, she said.


  1. These parents are ruining their children’s prospects of becoming responsible adults. When they have to rely on others because they have become too lazy to think or act or take responsibility for their lives it is a sad day. So mum and dad pick up these little fatties and drop into maccas or kfc for a treat on the way home, just in case they get upset for being neglected. Get a life people, your parents had to ride their pushbikes to work because they couldn’t afford to buy a car, and you had to ride or walk (it’s what we in the real world call exercise).

  2. My children use the pou method.
    I drop them off and they walk to school from there and the same after school that. They know they have 10 minutes to get from the pou to school and from school to the pou each day.
    They meet up with friends on their way and enjoy one another’s company before departing to class or home and it has worked all year, their ages are 11 and 8.

  3. Other primary schools I have observed in other countries the same problem. mornings and afternoons. what solved part of the problem is different starting times and ending times for different grades. Grades 1 &2 start together say at 8.00am leave at 14h00. grades 3, 4 and 5 start at o8h15 and leave at 14h30 and grades 6 & 7 start at 08h30 and leave at 15h00. Stagger times helps with vehicles congestion.

  4. The answer is to park further away. This will help your kids health and fitness and the well-being of parents too. Get out and walk and reduce the level of obesity in this country.
    Your stomach and backside will thank you for it.

  5. My parents walked or biked to school. I walked or biked to school. My daughters walked or biked to school. Once, due to a medical event at school I picked one of my daughters up but that was it. Some parents seem to be trying to breed a generation of inadequate, cossetted kids.

  6. Loretta doesn’t turn up 50minutes early! There are three of us parents who regularly turn up at 1.40pm to get a closer car park to pick up our children and she is not one of them – I have a 5yo and 9yo at mps and 3yo at manaia kindergarten so it’s easier for me if I get there earlier to get a closer car park – no matter how early I am I don’t ever park in the bus stop or over the fh.
    In my opinion she got what she deserved it’s illegal to park over one or in the bus stop, and simply just bloody lazy and as for trying to pass the buck to parents who use the bus stop she’s just as bad!
    Unless your trying to find a park at 2.30 you will always park within the same block so there is not excuse
    Maybe the council should be handing out tickets to those who park there

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