Simon Galton

Liberal Democrat County & District Councillor Learn more

Conservative Cabinet changes School transport policy to force double deck buses for 10 year olds

by simongalton on 9 April, 2010

Strong concern has been expressed about a change of policy affecting 10 year olds travelling on double deck school buses in the County.  At last week’s Cabinet, Lib Dem Group Leader Cllr  Simon Galton, whose division will be affected by the changes, questioned why the cabinet felt it acceptable to treat 10 year old pupils, who happen to transfer to secondary school’s a year before the majority of Leicestershire pupils, differently by forcing them to use Double Decker Buses when the established policy uses coaches because of clear safety benefits. 

Mr Galton drew attention to a petition presented to the Former Education Scrutiny Committee in October 2004 by Mr David Parsons, Leader of the County Council, asking for double deck buses to be withdrawn.  Cllr Galton said: “My intention was to draw attention to a massive contradiction on this issue. Back in 2004 Conservatives were all in favour of providing safe school transport for 10 year olds using coaches which have to be fitted with seatbelts. Now they are quite happy to force these 10 year olds on to Double Deck Buses which don’t have to have seatbelts.  

What’s changed?  Simple, they have to pay for their Budget promises, and what makes this worse is that there has been no consultation with parents, governors or schools. I think parents should have a say simply because it is their children that will be affected. Already Conservative promises on listening to people look to be a luxury rather than a commitment. I believe coaches have provided a safer alternative since 2004 simply because they have to be fitted with seat belts, but it is clear that Conservatives prefer saving money rather than maintaining the clear benefits of the current policy.”

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