No cuts to school buses

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North Lanarkshire Council has decided not to make any changes to school transport eligibility.

A consultation exercise was established late last year to hear the public’s thoughts on changing eligibility for school transport from one mile to two miles for primary school pupils and two miles to three miles for secondary school pupils.

However, having listened to the public’s concerns, the administration has decided that despite cuts to their budget by the Scottish Government, it is unwilling to make the changes.

Education convener Frank McNally said: “Given the scale of the draconian, disproportionate cuts being handed down to North Lanarkshire from the Scottish Government it has sadly been necessary to explore all areas of service provision.

“However, parents, guardians and young people made their thoughts known and their voices heard; the administration listened and has taken the decision not to support any change to existing school pupil transport criteria for the duration of the council term.

“Parents also raised concerns about the Scottish Government’s outdated guidance on this matter. Therefore I have written to Scottish Ministers and encouraged them to review current legislation to enshrine one mile for primary and two mile for secondary into statute.”

The decision was welcomed by SNP group leader David Stocks who tried on several occasions to have the proposal dismissed.

He said: “The SNP have been against these plans from day one and it is clear that the consultation has been an expensive waste of time.

“Jim Logue should now apologise to the people of North Lanarkshire firstly for the understandable stress that he has put parents under these last few months, and secondly for wasting valuable public money on this consultation.”