Pleas to council to fund pilot scheme

PUBLISHED: 07:08 25 January 2007 | UPDATED: 10:08 31 May 2010

LITTLEBURY S district councillor is hoping to get proposals for a new school bus service in Saffron Walden back on the table and wants backing from parents to support her case. Cllr Jan Menell was due to make a presentation on the Yellow Bus Scheme, which

LITTLEBURY'S district councillor is hoping to get proposals for a new school bus service in Saffron Walden back on the table and wants backing from parents to support her case.

Cllr Jan Menell was due to make a presentation on the Yellow Bus Scheme, which has been piloted successfully in West Yorkshire with £20million of Government money being used to buy 150 buses, to Uttlesford District Council's North Area Panel in November.

The Government scrapped plans to allow local authorities to apply for funding to buy a fleet of buses in August, but Cllr Menell, along with Lizzie Sanders of Littlebury Parish Council, will now be stating her case at the next area panel meeting in March and hopes to convince Essex County Council to fund a pilot scheme in Uttlesford.

She said: "Lizzie and I have grave concerns about the current system and the traffic chaos around our schools when parents have to set down and pick up their children.

"Research in 2003 showed that parents lost about 570 million hours a year on the school run.

"Some of my fellow councillors have told me they would support the Yellow Bus Scheme, if only in relation to air pollution in Saffron Walden.

"I would be very pleased to hear from any parents if they have views on this subject."

Nottingham City Council has also employed the scheme, allowing people to travel for free on a circular route in and out of the city centre.

However, in a written statement to MPs in the summer, junior transport minister Gillian Merron said the pilot scheme would not be replicated in other parts of the country, five years after the deputy prime minister John Prescott first announced the plans.

"The Government has now set up a joint education and transport taskforce, while the Conservative party manifesto contains a commitment to improving transport through greater integration in our railways and more school buses," said Cllr Menell.

"The Yellow Bus Scheme is operational in West Yorkshire and proving very successful, albeit with Government funding and a small cost to parents of 50p per trip.

"We are therefore keen to bring this to the attention of our fellow councillors and hope that a pilot scheme in Uttlesford could then ensue."

Any parents wanting to support Cllr Menell's case should write to her at the Uttlesford District Council offices in London Road, Saffron Walden.

Most Read

Latest from the Saffron Walden Reporter