School protesters go that ex­tra mile

Par­ents and pupils walk‘un­safe’route to prove point

Rutherglen Reformer - - News - Dou­glas Dickie

Par­ents and pupils from Half­way held a protest march on Sun­day along part of the pro­posed walk­ing route to sec­ondary schools if changes to school bus pro­vi­sion go ahead.

Around 140 res­i­dents turned out for the event, with many call­ing on South La­nark­shire Coun­cil to scrap plans to change the cri­te­ria for free travel from those liv­ing more than two miles away to three miles.

The event was also at­tended by Mar­garet Ferrier MP, James Kelly MSP, and coun­cil­lors Chris­tine Deanie and Wal­ter Bro­gan.

Start­ing at the Tesco store in Drum­sagard, the group headed along Hamil­ton Road, up Howieshill Road and Vi­car­land Road, across Greenlees Road and along Brown­side Road.

They then headed down Dou­glas Drive and ended up at the coun­cil of­fice in Cam­bus­lang Gate.

John Edgar, act­ing chair of Half­way Com­mu­nity Coun­cil, said parts of the route had been lit­tered with glass, and said parked cars had forced them onto the roads on Howieshill and Vi­car­land.

Oth­ers com­plained about the vol­ume of traf­fic on Greenlees Road, the blind cor­ner at the junction of Howieshill Road and Hamil­ton Road, and road signs be­ing ob­scured by trees along the route.

Mr Edgar said: “There are a lot of ob­sta­cles along the way, and we didn’t even walk the full route.

“We don’t class this as a safe route, it’s very dan­ger­ous when you con­sider ev­ery­thing that we have seen.”

Par­ents were also un­happy. Jackie Rinn, who is a mem­ber of the com­mu­nity coun­cil, has con­sis­tently said she won’t send her daugh­ter, Ash­ley, to Stonelaw if the coun­cil don’t pro­vide trans­port.

Jackie, who stays on Mill Road, said: “The route is atro­cious, it’s far too long and dan­ger­ous.

“My opin­ion is the same; I won’t al­low my child to walk that route.”

Jackie is also un­happy no de­ci­sion will be taken un­til an ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee in Au­gust, and ques­tioned why par­ents hadn’t re­ceived any ad­vice on bus pro­to­col be­fore the end of the school year.

She said: “My daugh­ter fin­ishes to­mor­row (Wed­nes­day) and I’ve had no no­ti­fi­ca­tion on how we go about get­ting the bus. I have no idea what to do to get my child to school.

“We were told we’d find out in July what was hap­pen­ing, but now they’re say­ing it will be an ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee on Au­gust 26. Trans­port will con­tinue to Septem­ber 25. Ash­ley will go to school un­til then and that’s it — and I think that’s the case with many par­ents.”

Lynn Sherry, Head of Ed­u­ca­tion, South La­nark­shire Coun­cil said: “A statu­tory con­sul­ta­tion took place over the pe­riod March 16, 2015 to May 13, 2015 dur­ing which time con­sul­tees were in­vited to make their views known. Fol­low­ing this pe­riod, Ed­u­ca­tion Scot­land (HMIE) also con­sid­ered the pro­posal and has re­cently made their re­port avail­able to the coun­cil.

“A con­sul­ta­tion re­port is cur­rently be­ing fi­nalised which takes ac­count of the re­sponses that have been re­ceived. This fi­nal re­port will be com­pleted and made avail­able through the coun­cil’s web­site on July 10, 2015. No­ti­fi­ca­tion of how to ac­cess the re­port will be pub­lished in lo­cal news­pa­pers on 8/9 July 2015.

“Fol­low­ing the pub­li­ca­tion of the con­sul­ta­tion re­port, it will be con­sid­ered at the ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee of the coun­cil on Au­gust, 26 2015.

“Trans­port will con­tinue as usual un­til a de­ci­sion is taken by the coun­cil. If the de­ci­sion is taken to im­ple­ment the pro­posal, par­ents will be in­formed of the new ar­range­ments for trans­port, in­clud­ing the spe­cific date on which the pro­posal will be im­ple­mented.”

Par­ents can con­tinue to com­plete the trans­port ap­pli­ca­tion form on the SLC web­site. They will then re­ceive a let­ter of ac­knowl­edge­ment and fur­ther in­struc­tions if they have been suc­cess­ful in their ap­pli­ca­tion. There is no cut off point for this.

Clear mes­sage Kids head­ing to high school get their mes­sage across at Cam­bus­lang Gate

Sneak peak The blind cor­ner into Howieshill Road was crit­i­cised by par­ents

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