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Concern over plan to shake-up school transport provision
6:00am Sunday 13th October 2013 in News
PUPILS who use school transport in north Herefordshire could be pushed into Shropshire under new council proposals.
While free transport is currently provided to the nearest school or a school in the catchment area for pupils in year 11 and below, new proposals would see this applied to the nearest school only.
A consultation is currently underway but parents, schools and councillors are already voicing their concerns.
Councillor John Stone said: “The present system serves us very well. One area I never hear complaints about is our local schools. I think to increase the amount families have to pay is a huge change when you think of Herefordshire as a very low income area. And it would cause such disruption to children at the schools.
“It would also increase the amount of traffic – if a lot of people decide to stick with Wigmore but go by car then will be so many more people on the roads.”
He said cuts to school transport would be “very difficult”
in the local area.
Currently, children who live in Brimfield are provided with free transport to Orleton Primary School and then to Wigmore High School as they are the catchment schools.
However, should proposals go ahead, pupils would find themselves provided with no transport there as schools in Tenbury, Ludlow or Leominster are all closer.
Parents fear they will be left to choose whether to move their children to other schools to qualify for the free transport or to make alternative travel arrangements at their own expense.
Emma Morgan, deputy head teacher at Orleton Primary School, added: “Our concern is that in this area it would cost more money and be more environmentally damaging.
“Children may be forced to leave if we are not the closest school. You are paid per pupil and if you lose 10 pupils you may lose a job.”