ANXIOUS youngsters were left stranded on the first day of the new term because they hadn’t been told their school bus had been scrapped, it was claimed this week.
In August last year, in a bid to save £30million over three years, East Dunbartonshire Council announced that only primary pupils living more than two miles and secondary pupils living more than three miles from their schools would be eligible for free buses to school.
But one angry mum contacted the Herald to say youngsters from the Waterside, Harestanes and Hillhead areas of Kirkintilloch travelling to St Ninian’s High were not told that their regular school bus had been stopped.
She said: “Where was the news letter? My daughter had to come back and get money for a taxi. The bus service should never have been cancelled - it’s an accident waiting to happen.”
Sandy McGarvey, head of the council’s community services, said: “Throughout the budget process last year, and confirmed at council in February this year, the decision was made that the council could no longer afford the subsidy levels required for the ‘Pay As You Go’ school buses for all secondary schools.
“Throughout the council area there was a low up-take of the subsidised buses and it was therefore not affordable to continue. It was agreed the services would not resume after the summer holidays and the schools and parent councils were advised of this prior to the end of term so that anyone affected by this decision could make alternative arrangements for the following school year.”