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Lib Dems launch "save our school buses" campaign

April 15, 2004 12:00 AM

Save our school buses campaign logoThis week the Liberal Democrats are launching their 'Save Our School Buses' campaign, in response to the Government's draft School Transport Bill.

Research by the Liberal Democrats shows that school run traffic could increase by 18% under new Government proposals to end the automatic entitlement to free school transport, the opposite of what is actually intended.

The draft School Transport Bill, announced last month, would allow Local Education Authorities to charge all but a minority of children for their bus travel. This is very likely to have the effect of increasing, rather than reducing, the use of cars for the school-run - with the potential for more than 200 million extra car miles being added to the already congested school run. This would result in more 7550 more tonnes of Carbon Dioxide emissions each year.

Commenting, John Thurso MP, Liberal Democrat Shadow Transport Secretary, said:

"Legislation to combat the scourge of the school run is welcome, but the detail of the Government's proposals must be questioned.

"Charges for using school buses must not be levied on families that currently rely on the service. That would only drive those families back into their cars and make the problem worse."

The Liberal Democrats will this week launch a petition to Charles Clarke and Alistair Darling calling on them to stop plans to remove free travel for children who travel more than 3 miles to school.

Norman Baker MP, Liberal Democrat Shadow Environment Secretary, added:

"It is environmental madness for the Government to be encouraging even more cars on the school run. The extra cars on our roads will add thousands of extra tonnes of Carbon Dioxide to our atmosphere and add even more congestion. These proposals fly in the face of everything the Government says it is trying to achieve on the environment."


The potential effect on School Transport

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