Ruffley opposes new School Transport Bill

Friday, 29 October, 2004

David Ruffley today supported the Conservative Party's opposition to the School Transport Bill. The Government Bill received its Second Reading on the 28th October but was voted against by the Conservative Opposition.

David Ruffley said:

'This Bill will be a disaster for both children and parents, especially those living in rural areas such as Suffolk. For 60 years, children living long distances from their nearest school have had the right to use a school bus. For 60 years, it has not mattered how much their parents earn, how many siblings they have or whether they get a free school meal. The right has been simple: if the journey is too long, the bus will come along. The Government is now planning to strip this right away. It is a disgrace and damaging to Suffolk.

'This will be a disaster for children attending rural schools. Have Ministers even considered the danger facing young children having to walk several miles up and down narrow, twisting, hilly and unlit rural roads in places like Suffolk.

'This proves once again that this urban government has no idea how rural people live their lives. THESE SCHOOL TRANSPORT STEALTH CHARGES MUST BE OPPOSED.'