CONCERNS OVER SCHOOL TRANSPORT CUTS
September 14 2011.
The Mayor of Newhaven has today raised his concerns over cuts to the bus service for pupils at Tideway School. In a letter to East Sussex County Council, Councillor Steve Saunders expressed his fears for the welfare of many pupils who, as a result of the cuts, have been left with no other option than to negotiate the unlit, unmade roads leading up to the school on foot.
The bus service, which was previously provided free of charge, now costs students £2.25 daily or £8.50 weekly - an additional fee that many families had not budgeted for.
The Mayor wrote, "The policy decision that East Sussex County Council is forcing through appears to have been made for purely financial reasons, with no thought for the safety of students and the effect it will have on families, many of whom are already struggling with the financial situation in which we all find ourselves.
"Parents are now considering moving pupils out of Tideway, even though it was their school of choice."
Rob Corbett, Headmaster of Tideway School, echoed the concerns of the Mayor, adding that he also worried that the cuts may result in students walking along dark stretches of road, or changing schools altogether.
As well as raising issues over safety and financial aspects, the Mayor pointed out that the decision to make cuts to the bus service does not meet the objectives of their own Local Transport Plan. Such cuts, he stated, will, "actually increase road congestion, not encourage the use of sustainable transport and adversely affect the safety of vulnerable road users."
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