Sunday 22 March 2009

Why yellow school buses make sense

It was good that the Government was able to extend free transport to match pupil choices rather than local authority diktats with the 2006 Education Act. It is a shame that the parallel proposals for choice advisers to help people make choices has been allowed to wither into town hall-led inertia instead of being delivered by part-time community-based volunteers, as was originally intended.

And today's report from the Transport Select Committee is right to argue that more needs to be done to encourage walking, cycling and buses as an alternative to the school run. The idea of yellow buses, which David Blunkett has also neen promoting, is not that they should be carbon copies of their American cousins but that there should be distinctive school buses that speak safety, reliability and which could be used for school and community trips when not taking youngsters to and from school. The case was made well in a Sutton Trust report that I helped to produce back in 2005. It is to be hoped that ministers will take the Committee's recommendations seriously.

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