Angry Cumbernauld parents hit out over bus places

ANGRY parents have hit out at North Lanarkshire Council for failing to provide their children with bus places.

They say that they have failed to be successful in their application to the local authority to gain a privilege bus place for their child.

The application has been made by the parents because their children walk through isolated routes.

One Seafar parent, whose daughter attends Greenfauld High School, said: “My daughter has to walk down an isolated road, the clocks are about to go back and it is getting darker, so I feel it is not safe for her to go to school.

“It was even suggested to me she should go to Our Lady’s because it is closer.

“My council tax contributes to the contract bus yet my daughter cannot get on it, and I can’t seem to get any answers from North Lanarkshire Council.”

Maureen Bonner, from Seafar, 10-year-old Emma attends Ravenswood Primary School, and she recently lost her place on a contract bus.

Maureen says she has had no explanation from the council over why her daughter is no longer entitled to the bus place.

She also says that the bus often has plenty of empty seats.

She said: “It is not safe for her to walk to school as she is only 10 and the road she would walk on is often full of undesirables.

“The bus is going the same way it always has and it is full of empty seats,”

The parents have complained to MSP for Cumbernauld and Kilsyth Jamie Hepburn about their plight, and he has called on the local authority to provide clarity and answers regarding privilege bus places.

Mr Hepburn said: “I can completely appreciate the frustrations of the parents who have contacted me regarding privilege bus places, this issue has been dragging on for quite some time now and I would urge North Lanarkshire Council to take appropriate action.

“Parents have also reported to me that there appears to be no consistent application process or advice given to them – I sincerely hope that the council rethink the entire allocation process for the future.”

James McKinstry, NLC head of resources, said: “We are aware of parents’ concerns about the privilege bus service for Ravenswood Primary School and we are currently in the process of trying to resolve the issue.

‘‘The contract for this service allows for a total of 115 pupils, 37 from Ravenswood and 84 for Our Lady’s High School and these places have all been allocated. We are working with SPT to review this contract and identify a solution.”