Moorlands MP, Karen Bradley met the Transport Secretary earlier this week to discuss the important issue of school transport.
Karen has been contacted by many concerned constituents about school transport provision. County councils are unable to allow children to travel on school buses if they are paying passengers unless those buses are fully disability compliant, because the payment for the empty space turns the bus into public transport.
Karen raised the issue with the Leader of the House and spoke again during the Queen’s Speech debate urging the Government to look for some form of exemption in the short term for these county councils, and then to provide support for the county councils to change the contracts.
Since then, Staffordshire County Council have decided to extend the existing offer of free temporary vacant seats, which was due to end at half term, until they receive further guidance, a move that Karen welcomed.
At the meeting, Karen discussed how an exemption needs to be made and provision made for the many families in Staffordshire Moorlands facing uncertainty.
“I had a productive meeting earlier this week with the Transport Secretary where I asked for full exemption for a temporary period and support for County Councils to be able to replace the buses with disability-compliant, green buses that will help us all.
“I also raised the important issue of rural buses during the meeting and asked for some money to be made available for Staffordshire Moorlands.”