Parents have been left outraged after a  council proposal plans to scrap bus transportation for high school pupils across South Lanarkshire, which has been branded 'deplorable'. 

The free buses currently transport pupils living within a two to three-mile radius to and from school. But under the new directive, buses will only transport students living three or more miles from their catchment school.

This means pupils all over the council area will miss out on a free and more importantly safe way to travel to school. 

Glasgow Times:

Glasgow Times:

The same proposal was put forward in around 2015 and 2016, but the council eventually backtracked due to significant backlash. 

And now, the fight is back on. 

Parents from Drumsagard spoke to the Glasgow Times, as their children who attend Cathkin, Trinity, Stonelaw and Uddingston High School are set to be impacted. 

Glasgow Times:

Gaynor Sherlock, who has been the driving force behind the movement said: “It is absolutely disgusting, and it has angered and upset all of us."

Parent Andrea Brownhill added: “We want to overthrow this. 

“The council are clearly trying to find money from somewhere, but they are doing it at the detriment of our children. It’s disgusting.” 

According to Andrea and Gaynor, if the proposal comes into force, it will mean that youngsters will be subjected to walking up to six miles per day (in all weather conditions and darkness) to get to and from school. This will result in a commute of around two hours. 

Glasgow Times:

In a bid to ensure the six-mile walk will be okay for youngsters, the council have suggested safe walking routes which parents have said include unlit and unpaved streets and parks, as well as run-ins with heavy traffic flow, ditches, and a riverbank. 

Gaynor said: “The council have said that parents who don’t have a car and can’t drive their kids to school will have to accompany them on their walk. 

“What employer is going to let their staff take two hours out of their day to walk their child to and from school? 

“Andrea and I went out to Greenlees Road, which is on these safe walking routes and from 8am until 9am, we counted 1333 vehicles – and they want our children to cross that road?

“There aren’t any lights across that road now and even if they put them up, there is still so much potential for danger.”

Andrea added: “If this goes into effect, our children will be walking over six miles a day to and from school because some may have no other way to get to their classes and there is no direct bus to the surrounding schools either. 

“The council mapped out a safe walking route for kids walking to school and it is through the Halfway and Cambuslang Park – which have unpaved and unlit areas.  

“It’s going to lead to children missing school. I mean, there are just a hundred things so wrong about this. Nothing good is going to come out of it.”

Glasgow Times:

Children can of course be driven to school by their parents, but as Gaynor pointed out, it will increase carbon footprint and Cathkin High School have told parents that they can no longer park or pull up at the gates to drop off their child due to vehicular congestion. 

The group has so far launched a petition and held meetings – which were attended by leading MSPs such as Katy Louden.

Glasgow Times:

Last week 30 adults and three young people as well as councillors attended a consultation with a panel of three SLC members. 

Gaynor said: “During the consultation, we were basically told that the case was still being proposed and our concerns were being noted. 

“We were given the floor to voice our concerns and there was a lot of them. 

“The biggest thing that came out of it which angered a lot of people was that it was clear safety wasn’t a consideration. 

“The council haven’t even walked the safety routes themselves and when a young person stood up and asked the three SLC members if they would let their child walk this route, there were no comments.”

To sign the petition, click HERE

Glasgow Times:

Glasgow Times:

Carole McKenzie, executive director of education resources, said: "The Executive Committee approved a statutory consultation on this matter, which started on January 15 and will run until March 1.

"The options to consider are whether to continue providing the current level of service, or a service that is more in keeping with the rest of Scotland and more in line with our statutory levels of service provision.

"Pressures on the budget for Education, and indeed the wider council budget, mean we have to consider all options. This is a result of severe financial constraints on the service.

"If we do proceed with this proposal, it means that the impact of budget cuts that directly affect pupils' learning and classroom resources can be lessened.

"I understand that this proposal may cause some anxiety as we move forward with the consultation. It is important that everyone's views are listened to, and that is the purpose of the consultation."