The County You Live, Work And Play
Pupils & Parents Protest
Pupils at Holy Cross High School were joined by their parents and carers on a walk to protest proposed changes to the school bus service.
The group assembled to take on one of the suggested walking routes for children put forward by South Lanarkshire Council.
Dozens of them braved the weather and travelled through Meikle Earnock, Eddlewood and Avongrove to show their opposition to any changes to school bus transport.
The controversial proposals were previously announced as part of the council’s 2015 budget plan.
Some parents are angry that the move would see the distance for children entitled to a free bus to school change from two miles to three. Jane McPartlin – one of the parents who tackled the route had several concerns following the march.
She reported that the walk to the school took them over an hour to complete, contrary to the 50 minutes suggested by the council, adding that they didn’t do it during peak traffic time.
The return journey is up hill and she also feared that the walk back would take even longer.
Jane said: “Our walk along the suggested route threw up concerns with the unsafe lanes and poor visibility, especially on busy roads with no crossings including the Strathaven Road and Auchingramont Road.
“And there is potential for pupils from different schools clashing as they pass by each other.
“We walked on a Sunday, and I imagine at peak times it will be worse.
“In addition the walking time for large volumes of kids is insufficient.”
Following a number of protest marches by parents, it has been revealed by the council that the final decision on any changes to the school bus service will be taken in late August.
However, the bus service put on for school pupils will run as normal until that time.
Lynn Sherry, the head of education at South Lanarkshire Council, said: “A statutory consultation took place over the period March 16, 2015, to May 13, 2015, during which time consultees were invited to make their views known.
“Following this period, Education Scotland (HMIE) also considered the proposal and has recently made their report available to the council.
“A consultation report is currently being finalised which takes account of the responses that have been received.
“This final report will be completed and made available through the council’s website on July 10, 2015.
“Notification of how to access the report will be published in local newspapers on July 8 and 9, 2015.
“Following the publication of the consultation report, it will be considered at the executive committee of the council on August 26, 2015.
“Transport will continue as usual until a decision is taken by the council .
“If the decision is taken to implement the proposal, parents will be informed of the new arrangements for transport, including the specific date on which the proposal will be implemented.”