School bus safety fears revealed as Doncaster transport boost announced
Plans to boost school buses have been revealed after concerns were raised over safety on a service in Doncaster
Victor Fisher, a former Doncaster Councillor who has three grandchildren at Ridgewood School, in Scawsby, told Doncaster Council's cabinet he was concerned about the number of children being put onto the buses which take youngsters to the school.
He told the borough's cabinet that the number of buses had been reduced from three buses in 2016 to two in 2017, and told the councillors he had concerns about the safety of the buses because youngsters were having to stand.
He said: "I followed the bus, and they are standing on the buses. This is the concern that I am hoping can be addressed by the council and the South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive.
"I saw 103 children get off the bus at Ridgewood School.
"In the 21st century they have the right to demand that they have a seat."
He said he had two issues of concern.
He said: "Firstly, that bus provision for transporting children to Ridgewood Comprehensive School has been reduced from three buses in 2016 to two buses in 2017. Secondly, it appears that Doncaster, along with the rest of South Yorkshire, do not have a policy on safe transportation for our young people / students which I feel should be established. I hope that both these issues can be addressed."
He later added: "My concern is not only for my grandchildren, but but the children of Sprotbrough who have to be subjected to this five days a week."
Deputy mayor Coun Glyn Jones said: "As you may be aware, Bright Bus Services recently withdrew its school service in Doncaster. In response to this Doncaster Council has been working in partnership with SYPTE and other bus operators to ensure that services can continue to meet the needs of pupils and schools.
"The council has a statutory duty to provide free transport for all pupils if their nearest suitable school is beyond three miles, although in this case we have actually gone above the requirement, providing bus services which support the whole of Sprotbrough.
"I understand that SYPTE has now secured four buses to provide transport for the 227 pupils that receive the free bus, with a total capacity for at least 330 passengers."
He said he was aware there had been issues with increased demand and pupils not being able to use the service but was assured that steps had been taken to improve the situation, He added he would ask that the services was closely monitored.
He said: "In terms of of safe transport, I understand that work is currently underway to revise the 'Pupils on Public Transport' guidance document, which aims to ensure that all pupils experience a safe and timely journey to and from school."