Worried parents challenge officials to join school bus trip

West Side parents have challenged councillors and officials to get on the bus and experience the long trips facing pupils as young as 11 if Aith secondary school is closed.Parent Leanne Johnson said several councillors had responded to say they would come on the trip to shadow a school bus next month as it transports pupils between the Anderson High School in Lerwick and Westerskeld.

There is concern about the effects of such long journeys twice a day on West Side pupils, taking as much as an hour-and-a-half each way.
Mrs Johnson said: “This run will allow councillors and officials to see first-hand all the worries and concerns that we have raised with them over the last few months.”

They would be able to witness and experience all the factors, she said, including transferring to feeder buses in darkness and poor weather, travelling on difficult side roads and stopping at all the children’s houses en-route.

Consultation on closing Aith’s secondary department and busing the pupils to Lerwick is due to get under way early next year as part of the council’s drive to cut £3 million a year from schools spending.

West Side parents hope the bus run they have organised will demonstrate how the journey could be detrimental to the children who will have to connect with the feeder service at Bixter and continue through Sand and Reawick before completing their journey at Westerskeld.

The bus trip is due to take place on Monday 17th December.

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4 comments

  1. Kaila McCulloch

    This is a good oppertunity for Councillors to experience what the children on the west side will be condemed too twice a day, 5 days a week. I hope they have the courage to accept the invotation.

    Reply
  2. Sandra Meades

    I wonder if the Council would be so happy to see their own children on a bus for 2-3 hours per day, missing any opportunities for after-school sports and development and supervised only by a bus driver concentrating on driving and without any specialised training with children!

    Reply
  3. W Conroy

    This is a great idea.

    I just hope it snows on the 17th of December and because of the “cut backs” they haven’t gritted the roads.

    C’mon councillors… take the bus trip and see what you want to subject these bairns to. If you’re not prepared to do it even once how can you justify making these bairns do it 5 times a week? If you don’t experience it yourselves how can you possibly make a fair judgement?

    I wonder how many councillors will have an “excuse” as to why they can’t take the trip!
    “car wouldn’t start”
    “too busy with council matters”
    “had a previous engagement”
    etc…

    Reply
  4. Billy Wiseman

    Councillors wont get on the buses, they will just pay for Consultants to take the journeys instead, they seem to use consultants for nearly everything……

    Reply

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