Meetings held on Lincolnshire school transport policy

Members of the Glenside school transport campaign, who are calling for Lincolnshire County Council to review its policy. Campaigners come from Castle Bytham, Little Bytham, Creeton and the surrounding area. EMN-150331-162320001
Members of the Glenside school transport campaign, who are calling for Lincolnshire County Council to review its policy. Campaigners come from Castle Bytham, Little Bytham, Creeton and the surrounding area. EMN-150331-162320001

Parents and teachers were invited to give their views on Lincolnshire’s school transport policy at a series of meetings as part of a review.

Councillors are looking at whether changes need to be made to the policy after two campaign groups said it was unfair.

One group, based around the Bythams, is unhappy that children living there are only offered free transport to Stamford, but not to Bourne, which is the same distance away. Another group in Claypole, near Newark, has a similar issue.

Jane King, from Creeton, has a son at Bourne Academy and a daughter at Bourne Grammar. She went to one of the meetings at the county council offices last week.

She said: “I did feel that the councillors present were engaged and interested in the issues we face. I did welcome the fact that this group of councillors were open to listening to how we feel policy is currently unfair and unequitable. It is clear that the councillors were unaware of how the policy varies across the county.”

Possible options to change the policy were discussed at the meeting, and Jane added: “I left the meeting hopeful that changes to the policy will be made to make it fair for all, in other words, the same level of transport offered to all families across the county who choose to send their child to a grammar school.

“We have offered the council the option to speak to us again, should they feel it would be helpful.”

Jane’s only disappointment was that the review did not include comprehensive schools. She said: “My group also want to see a change in the transport our villages are offered for comprehensive school transport.

“My intention will be to see what the outcome of the grammar school transport review is and then approach the council once again regarding comprehensive school transport.”

Chairman of the task and finish group leading the review Coun Jackie Brockway (Con) said: “This was a really good session and I thank all those who took the time to meet with us for their valuable contributions.”

A decision is likely to be made by the council’s executive in the spring.