Have your say on school bus changes

Public meetings will take place to discuss proposals to change school transport arrangements.

North Lanarkshire Council fears it will face a major cuts to its budget from the Scottish Government, £26m over one year and £42m over two years, and has identified school transport as an area where it can make savings.

It has proposed changing eligibility for primary pupils from more than one mile away from school to two miles and secondary pupils from more than two miles away to three.

A consultation exercise to ask the public their opinions was launched this week.

Public meetings will take place from 7-9pm in the following locations:

Tuesday, November 21, – St Andrew’s High, Coatbridge; Wednesday, November 22, – Clyde Valley High, Wishaw;

Thursday, November 23, - Cardinal Newman High, Bellshill; Friday, November 24, – Kilsyth Academy; Tuesday, November 28, Greenfaulds High; Wednesday, November 29, – Chryston High; Thursday, November 30; – St Margaret’s High, Airdrie; Friday, December 1, - Our Lady’s High, Motherwell.

Packs are being sent out to parents this week and paper copies will be available in all libraries.

The packs can also be completed online or comments emailed to primarytransportconsultation@northlan.gov.uk or secondarytransportconsultation@northlan.gov.uk

Education convener Councillor Frank McNally said: “North Lanarkshire Council is facing difficult budget challenges. Since 2007 the council’s budget has been cut by more than £170 million, with a further £26 million reduction expected from the Scottish Government in the new financial year.

“North Lanarkshire is one of the only a few local authorities that provide as generous a distance in relation to transport and with the scale of the cuts expected, it is important that this is explored. This is simply a public consultation at this stage and I would encourage people to respond so that all views can be taken into account.”

Assistant chief executive Isabelle Boyd added: “We will assess all safe walking routes and we are encouraging all parents and carers to share their views.”

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