Keep Mobberley's school bus service free!
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Mobberley is in danger of losing its free school bus.
Concerned residents and parents are urging Cheshire East Council to review their policies and retain this essential service.
Our concerns are as follows:-
• The length of the walk, a two-hour round trip or 30 miles per week, is unreasonable, particularly during cold, dark, wet, windy or icy weather. It will have a negative impact on concentration levels, ability to learn and attendance, as well as put Mobberley students at a disadvantage to their peers
• The youngest and most vulnerable children will have the furthest to walk (an extra 10 minutes), with much of that walk in the dark during winter periods
• Children are less likely to engage in valuable extracurricular school-based activities and will have less time and energy to focus on homework
• This is likely to have a very detrimental effect on overall academic performance, concerns that are echoed by the school themselves (see attached statement)
• Rather than a dedicated school bus, children will be using public transport which represents a safe-guarding issue particularly for the younger children
• Many feeder roads to this route have poor, non-existent or inadequate pavements
• Part of the route incorporates a 60 m.p.h speed limit road
• Part of the route (including the 60 m.p.h speed limit section) is not lit and so is particularly hazardous during the dark winter months
• Part of the route is overgrown, leaving footpaths dangerously narrow
• Air quality is poor during rush hour and the route is used regularly by HGV's.
There will be an increase in traffic and congestion due to parents taking their children by car on an already over-stretched route
• The route has been deemed ‘unsafe’ to be used as a cycling route, so the only other option open to many children will be to walk
• Cost. The cost of a return ticket is £3 a day or £10 if a weekly bus pass is obtained. This is a considerable sum especially for residents who have more than one child at the school
• This means that many pupils will have no choice but to walk, regardless of weather conditions, energy levels and ability
The assessment of the route took place during the summer months during good weather, therefore the conditions that our children will face during the dark winter months (including lack of street lighting during rush hour on a 60 m.p.h road), were not experienced by the assessors.
In addition, a lengthy report has also been submitted highlighting concerns around Cheshire East Council's failure to follow due process.
Residents and parents have not been properly informed about the proposed changes and have therefore not been given adequate time to object.
As an MP who promised to take local issues seriously and fight for high standards of education, we are sure that you will agree with us that the removal of this service is a step in the wrong direction.
We urge you to carefully consider the negative impact this decision will have on the academic performance and well-being of local children and lend your support to our cause.
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