Pupils face walk along dan­ger road

The Oban Times - - News -

CHANGES in the way school chil­dren in Achar­a­cle are picked up and dropped- off has sparked anger among par­ents this week.

The Lochaber Times has learned that par­ents of chil­dren at Achar­a­cle Pri­mary School were in­formed two days be­fore the end of term that their chil­dren, who are cur­rently col­lected from their homes, will now be forced to walk along a dan­ger­ous sin­gle track road to be picked up.

At present chil­dren in Arive­g­aig, Ard­toe, New­ton, and Ken­tra re­ceive free trans­port from home to school.

Res­i­dents con­tacted Fort Wil­liam and Ard­na­mur­chan coun­cil­lor An­drew Bax­ter about the changes af­ter re­ceiv­ing a note from the cur­rent trans­port op­er­a­tor.

Mr Bax­ter con­tacted the coun­cil to say: ‘ Other than be­ing ap­palled by the ap­par­ent lack of con­sul­ta­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tion with par­ents on this mat­ter, I have se­ri­ous con­cerns about the risk to safety fol­low­ing these changes.’ He added: ‘Dur­ing win­ter months we will ex­pect chil­dren to walk along a dark, un­lit and dan­ger­ous road. This is un­ac­cept­able. I would urge a re­con­sid­er­a­tion of this change.’

A High­land Coun­cil spokesper­son said: ‘The school trans­port pol­icy does not com­mit the coun­cil to doorto- door trans­port. There are many cases where pupils will be ex­pected to make their own way to a pick-up-point.’

The coun­cil added this is an ap­pli­ca­tion of school trans­port pol­icy which does not re­quire con­sul­ta­tion and it is ‘nor­mal prac­tice’ to ask con­trac­tors to com­mu­ni­cate with pupils on their trans­port list.

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