Biddulph: Hundreds sign petition to prevent vacant school bus seats scheme being axed

  Posted: 16.09.21 at 15:55 by Jack Lenton

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Almost 400 people have signed a petition asking Staffordshire County Council not to axe a scheme which allowed families not eligible for free school transport to pay for spare seats on school buses.

Nub News reported recently how parents of students set to lose their school bus seats for good are considering quitting their jobs so they can get their children to class safely.

Young people in rural areas not served by public transport are facing lengthy walks down unlit country lanes to get to school – or forking out for taxis – after Staffordshire County Council announced it was not planning to bring back the temporary Vacant Seat Scheme.

The county council says it has always warned parents they cannot rely on the scheme as it depends on demand from families entitled to free travel. The authority added that it has been burdened by new Government guidance and a lack of suitable vehicles.

The petition, which was set up on by the Rural School Transport Action Group Staffordshire, currently has 387 signatures at the time of writing.

The petition's page states: "The removal of the vacant seat scheme in Staffordshire leaves families in rural areas with very limited access to education.

"Children are expected to stay in education or training until 18, but the removal of this scheme leaves children in rural areas unable to get to school.

"We are asking that Staffordshire County Council follows most other local authorities and provide this scheme which is a lifeline to rural parents where there is no public transport.

"There are empty seats on these buses and parents are willing to pay. We're asking to pay for these seats!"

If you would like to sign the petition click here.

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