County council reject motion to improve home to school transport

Leek Bus Station

Following the decision earlier in the year to stop the your Staffordshire bus travel card County Councillor Charlotte Atkins alongside other county councillors have attempted to get a motion passed that would improve the transport for schoolchildren

Councillor Philip White argued that no reform was necessary despite a review being conducted by the Government.
Councillor Atkins said: ‘According to the Sutton Trust, twenty percent of traffic on UK roads during the morning rush hour is on the school run, contributing two million extra tonnes of harmful carbon dioxide annually to the atmosphere.
‘Apart from those with special needs, free transport only has to be provided to those living beyond two or three miles from their nearest suitable school depending on the age of the child. Yet this does not address the safety of children walking to school without proper footways or in the dark, pollution, cars idling outside schools, and the withdrawal of many commercial bus routes.

‘In 2005 the School Transport Bill, which sadly fell before the General Election, would have freed local authorities to move towards new ways of managing the journey to school including the introduction of the distinctive American style yellow buses, and charging parents for school travel on an ability to pay basis rather than a minority getting free travel. Years ago, Staffordshire County Council was a pioneer of yellow buses. As they have an adult on board, it might be even possible to use them for some special needs pupils rather than using expensive taxis.
‘With a Government Review going on, the County Council should take this opportunity to make its constructive representations for the sake of child safety, the environment and increased parental choice,’ concluded Councillor Atkins.