Consultation on West Yorkshire school bus cuts to be extended

Parents fight to stop St Ignatius school bus from been scrapped.'Pictured are parents Gemma Smith, Kim Stoner, Brenda Hamer and Grant Scott with their children.
Parents fight to stop St Ignatius school bus from been scrapped.'Pictured are parents Gemma Smith, Kim Stoner, Brenda Hamer and Grant Scott with their children.

Pressure is mounting over planned cuts to school bus services in parts of Yorkshire as consultations are extended in the wake of parents’ concerns.

Earlier this month, authorities in West Yorkshire announced they were looking at provision when it came to door-to-door services, amid a squeeze on council budgets.

Among those to voice early concern was mother Angela Barker, whose eight-year-old child attends Methley Primary School. “Schools are inundated with cars surrounding them on a morning and ours is no different. Parents are forever being asked to find alternative transport,” she said.

“However the alternative we have been using is now under threat of removal and so as a working parent I will have no option but to take my daughter to school by car once again.”

Other services under threat include the S18 service at St Ignatius Catholic Primary, Ossett, where parents said they may be forced to switch their children’s school. As tests were launched to see if services represented “value for money”, parents questioned the value of a consultation period lasting just 11 days.

Now West Yorkshire Combined Authority has confirmed that it is to grant parents an additional four weeks to voice their views.

A WYCA spokesman said: “In the context of reductions in local authority budgets, it is essential the combined authority ensures services continue to demonstrate value for money for local tax payers.

“Decisions will be made in May and communicated to schools and parents.”