Ruffley Claims Victory for Onehouse School Transport Campaign

Tuesday, 13 July, 2004

David Ruffley has welcomed the decision by Suffolk County Council to grant free school transport to children in Onehouse who attend schools in Stowmarket on the grounds that the route is too dangerous to walk along. The road from Onehouse has no pavement for over half a mile and for one mile has no lighting.

David campaigned for free school transport for his constituents in Onehouse following complaints he received from Onehouse parents after the withdrawal earlier this year of the Eastern Counties bus service which took children to schools in Stowmarket. David supported appeals by Onehouse parents and urged the Suffolk Education Department to expedite the appeals process.

The matter was recently considered by the Education Transport Cases Sub-Committee and they decided to agree to an exception to the general transport policy which only allows free school transport for children living more than three miles from their school.

The Sub-Committee under the Regulatory Committee delegated powers allowed the parents' appeal on the basis that specific parts of the route are dangerous for a child pedestrian.

Suffolk LEA will now be making arrangements for a school bus service in the mornings from September. An afternoon service run by Galloways has been operating since half term. Parents who use the school bus service will be contacted to notify them of the new arrangements which will be in place for the new term in September.

David said: 'I am delighted that the LEA Committee has seen sense and recognised the dangers for school age children walking along this route from Onehouse. It has taken several months and several exchanges of correspondence to achieve this victory but we now have a satisfactory outcome which I welcome on behalf of my constituents in Onehouse. It is a victory for common sense.'