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Thursday, September 24, 2015

Skates drives into school bus row

An Assembly Member says it’s ‘time for common sense to prevail’ as the battle to reinstate an axed school bus continues.

Clwyd South AM Ken Skates has previously called on Denbighshire County Council to reverse the decision to cut the service to Ysgol Caer Drewyn – a plea which fell on deaf ears.

He has now requested a meeting with council chief executive Dr Mohammed Mehmet in a bid to find a resolution to the situation.

More than a dozen families now face walks of between one and two miles along Green Lane, the busy main route for traffic travelling to and from Ruthin.

Mr Skates said: “The parents who don’t drive now either have to pay for 10 taxis a week or walk their children up to two miles each way twice a day along a route which the council until recently deemed hazardous. They feel that their children are being put in danger. 

“I recently obtained a copy of the council’s risk assessment of the route for a constituent, and every parent who has seen it disagrees with the findings.

“Locals will tell you that Green Lane is in need of traffic-calming measures as it is, and I would invite the council officers who don’t think there’s a problem to put themselves in the shoes of the parents and walk the route during the morning rush hour. Let them see how easy it is to walk a half-hour journey while pushing a pram and keep their other children safe when there are no pavements. I’ll happily join them.”

Mr Skates says he will invite Corwen councillors Huw Jones and Simon Watkins along to the meeting if granted a platform by Denbighshire.

The Labour AM added: “I know Huw and Simon have been working hard on this too, so it’s important we work together to get the right result. This is already creating huge difficulties for parents, and I know the school is concerned about the children’s safety.

“The council says it’s ‘following guidelines’, but I’m afraid people see that as an attempt to deflect the blame for this vital service being withdrawn. They are exactly that – guidelines. Each case should be judged on its own merit, and it’s time for common sense to prevail.”

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