Axing school buses will save £700 per pupil

Hundreds of school pupils who use the bus to get to school will have to take the train instead.

Bradford Council has confirmed it will stop busing pupils to Ilkley Grammar School from Menston and Burley-in-Wharfedale from September, despite objections from parents.

A total of 225 pupils currently use the services, costing the council £160,000 a year – or £711 per pupil.

The authority, which has had to make significant financial savings, said changing from bus to train travel would be be cheaper and "more sustainable".

In a report to the council, officials said: "The change from buses to trains will enable the council to promote a more sustainable mode of transport to schools.

"It will also be a more cost-effective way of providing free travel for pupils in this area."

Around 50 people had objected to the plans in a consultation carried out earlier this year.

Concerns raised included safeguarding worries over children walking to and from the station, especially in the winter months, the reliability of services and overcrowding of trains.

The council report, approved by Bradford Council's decision-making executive on Tuesday, acknowledged "any change to the current transport offer may result in unforeseen issues that may need addressing individually".

However, it also said all pupils who currently receive free travel would continue to do so.

"Burley in Wharfedale and Menston have train stations and local service buses that most children could use to travel to Ilkley and then walk a short distance to school," the report added.

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