Site for school

PUBLISHED: 10:30 19 February 2009 | UPDATED: 13:57 06 May 2010

SIR, — I am sure that I am not the only person who can make links between the stories in the Herts Advertiser. Can Herts County Council do the same? You report that an incredible 80 parents in central St Albans cannot get their children into their nearest

SIR, - I am sure that I am not the only person who can make links between the stories in the Herts Advertiser. Can Herts County Council do the same?

You report that an incredible 80 parents in central St Albans cannot get their children into their nearest primary schools. While the county council claims that travelling up to two miles through the city each day is "walking distance", this is patently untrue. Their parents are clogging up the roads twice a day by driving their children to school.

You have also covered Sainsbury's plan to increase the size of its store via a mezzanine (January 29).These two stories are connected. Sainsbury's plan, if accepted, would immediately remove any justification for Tesco to build a store on London Road. The land in London Road would then be an excellent place for a primary school - it is the only really suitable site in the centre of the city, and located in the middle of dense housing would be easily within walking distance for many parents and children.

The time is also right for building a new school. Low property prices mean that Tesco would presumably be happy to sell the site, the construction of the school would provide work for skilled local tradespeople and a local school for central St Albans would significantly reduce traffic during both rush hours, helping the city-centre shops.

Will the county council see the light? Will it accept the fact that everyone in the city knows - that there is an ongoing "baby boom" (which may actually increase in a downturn) and the number of schoolchildren is going to rise further? Or will it just try to paper over the cracks and build more temporary classrooms in distant schools?

I have to declare an interest in this. I live in central St Albans and have a two-month-old son. I wonder what the situation will be like when he is old enough to go to school. Will we have to drive miles to school - or could we have a good local school nearby?

SIMON HEPBURN,

Bedford Road, St Albans.

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