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Litton family's battle over free school transport
8:00am Thursday 13th February 2014 in News
A Litton family have been battling to get free transport to take one of their sons to school – just half a mile from the school where his brother gets a free bus to.
While 14-year-old Cameron Rogers gets the school bus for his journey to Threshfield’s Upper Wharfedale School, dad Alan now has to follow in his car to take his younger son James to Threshfield Primary School.
After initially refusing, to provide nine-year-old James with any assisted transport saying he wasn’t eligible because he should go to Grassington School which was closer, North Yorkshire County Council has changed its mind.
“Eventually we proved that Threshfield was closer to us by one tenth of a mile and they backed down,” said Mr Rogers.
However, the council say the bus which takes Cameron is unable to negotiate the narrow lane to the primary school at the other end of the village.
“They give us a petrol allowance of £11.70 a day,” said Mr Rogers. “We’re very grateful for that but it does seem silly. It adds up to quite a lot of money.”
The u-turn has been welcomed by Threshfield School’s chairman of the governors, Mary Maxfield, She said: “As a governing body, we are delighted that North Yorkshire County Council can now offer free school transport from Kilnsey and up Littondale, to pupils attending Threshfield Primary School.”
A spokesman for North Yorkshire County Council said: “We looked at the logistics of providing school bus transport for children to Threshfield, but the narrowness of the lane to the school meant that the operator of the bus used for the Upper Wharfedale/Grassington secondary school run was not able to access the primary.
“Moreover, the Upper Wharfedale/Grassington bus could not meet the Threshfield finishing times in the afternoon in particular.
“The lowest cost option, therefore, was for North Yorkshire County Council to offer the Threshfield parents a mileage allowance which they accepted.
“If circumstances have changed and parents want to contact us, we can review the position.”