Oxfordshire’s Conservative MPs, Robert Courts, Victoria Prentis, David Johnston and John Howell have spoken out about the County Council’s unexpected decision to withdraw the Spare Seats Scheme on several school transport routes around the county. Hundreds of children rely on the scheme to get to and from school and could be impacted by the service cancellations which will come into effect from September.
Commenting on the decision, the MPs said:
“We are very concerned to hear about the County Council’s decision to withdraw the Spare Seats Scheme on some services. Our constituents have told us that they are worried about the impact it will have, with some considering reducing work hours or changing roles to allow them the time to drive their children to and from school. It is unacceptable that the County Council have taken this decision without any consultation. They claim that because they do not have a statutory duty to deliver the scheme they do not need to involve parents.”
“It also goes against the County Council’s own environmental ambitions. They have promised to reduce car journeys by 1-in-4 this decade yet are forcing parents to drive their children to and from school. We are very concerned about children’s safety as they are expected to walk along busy roads not served by footpaths to get to school. We urge the Council to re-think their decision as a matter of urgency.”