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PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2018 7:28 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2015 8:09 am
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Every year people post some crazy commute suggestions onto this forum and every year us locals (and also some non locals - ToadMum) implore you to think carefully about it.

Things to consider

The train stations are not close, especially to the girls school. You are best looking to get a train to marks tey then a local bus up Lexden road (usually the 71)

The buses take forever. Colchester is an expanding town with ..... [edited by moderator] infrastructure, even at so called non busy times the roads are easily gridlocked, worse still if an accident happens on the A12 (a daily occurrence of late)

School life. There is more to school than an education, there are clubs, there are friends to be made there are amazing trips to go on there are concerts to watch. These are the extras that make a grammar school what it is not just the teaching.

School trips. My daughter is in year 9 and we have had some doozies of drop off and pick up times already including broken down coaches. How will you manage these?

Parent information evenings. They have these annually at the start of the year to lay out the expectations for the year ahead, they don't last long. Will you go?

Friendships. I said on another thread we have ferried our daughter to the outer climes of Essex and Suffolk. Colchester is on the Suffolk borders, be prepared for drives in some beautiful countryside where roads on the sat nav have no names to attend parties and maintain friendships. Is this manageable for you?

Medical appointments. Teenagers have a range of issues, drs appointments, physio, dentists, orthodontics etc are all normal things that could be required for your child. How much school time do they need to miss to attend these?

What do you want for your child? There are girls who fall asleep in class due to their daughters commutes. Is this what you want? Think. Would you do the commute? If not why do you want your child to do it?


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2018 7:36 pm 
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Some similar points are made here and may also provide food for thought.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2018 9:17 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2015 4:58 pm
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I’d also add that transport is not 100% reliable - trains get cancelled, buses get delayed. Train arrivals and bus departures are not always in sync. Buses can be every half an hour or so. Can your child manage to get home if their bus/train is cancelled or severely delayed? How long would you add as ‘waiting’ time between train and bus - and in what weathers would it be acceptable - twenty minutes on a freezing platform with heavy bags, thirty? Trains stop less regularly at Marks Tey than they do Colchester North.

Also the stations - Marks Tey station is small and empties quickly after the train’s arrival, it is also in an isolated area and understaffed - I would not be happy for my daughter to wait there alone when it is dark - if she was making her way home after a club for example. I’d also be worried about lack of teenage/preteenage common sense when it comes to the shortcut across the Hilly Fields nature reserve to Colchester North Station.

DD is in Year 9 at ColCHS and has approximately 60-90 minutes of homework a night, how would you fit that in and are you confident that your child wouldnt be affected by tiredness? We only live twenty minutes walk away from the school and she was exhausted just before half term.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2018 9:47 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 28, 2018 9:37 pm
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Yes commuting for long hours doesn't sound right.

If living in Colchester, what would be the best places for easy commute to colchester girls school considering the traffic inside Colchester?


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2018 10:04 pm 
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We live in Prettygate and my daughter walks in with friends who go to Philip Morant. Prettygate, Lexden, Shrub End, Stanway, Town Centre are all walking distance.

There are direct buses to Lexden road and shrub end road though so if you're looking to move have a look at the bus website for buses that stop at Norman way and see what areas are on their routes

Here you go ....

https://bustimes.org/stops/1500IM1128


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2018 6:46 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2008 2:28 pm
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If you have a look back there are previous threads with lots of tips on where to live including info on primary schools if you have younger DCs and for commuting routes for adults.

Prettygate is probably the best bet for affordability within walking distance - generally the west side of town is the most expensive. There is also some newish & some Victorian housing in the St Marys area of the town centre but you don't get as much space.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2018 6:57 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 28, 2018 9:37 pm
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Thanks for your tips.

I don't have any younger children so not to worry about the primary schools, but the important factors are easy commute for my daughter to walk to Colchester girls and if possible the best commute for adults to reach Colchester North station to travel to work.

I observed staying closer to the station wouldn't help my daughter as the traffic will be terrible in the morning. Other way round, staying closer to the school might not help the adult commute to the station.

Hence I am exploring if there are places which could be suitable for getting these two things sorted.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2018 7:15 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2008 2:28 pm
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In which case, especially if you are happy with a smaller property and garden it's worth looking at the St Mary's area as you can walk one way to the school and the other to North Station.

Marks Tey station is another option for adult commuting. Trains are less frequent so you have to plan a bit more ( still not bad) but it's quieter and parking is close to the platforms.

That opens up parts of Stanway and Marks Tey in walking distance of the station and a direct bus along Lexden Road.
There are also villages within a short drive/ cycle of the station - just check reliability of buses to school.

It you like Prettygate then you might be better driving out to Marks Tey station than going across town to North Station.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2018 11:06 am 
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[quote="KB] It you like Prettygate then you might be better driving out to Marks Tey station than going across town to North Station.[/quote]

This is what my husband does. If you are of a mind to its actually reachable by bike if you really want to save on parking costs and cut through traffic.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2018 9:49 pm 
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Thanks for all your inputs, these options seems viable for adult commute and my daughter.


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