Abandoned in the snow

SPT launches inquiry into why children were left at roadside
The youngsters were on their way to St Maurices when their journey was cut shortThe youngsters were on their way to St Maurices when their journey was cut short
The youngsters were on their way to St Maurices when their journey was cut short

SPT have launched an investigation into why the correct protocols weren’t followed that left around seven St Maurice’s High pupils at the roadside.

A spokesperson for North Lanarkshire Council said: “We are aware of this incident and SPT are investigating.

“SPT have advised that normal procedure would be, if pupils are picked up and the operator is unable to complete the journey, the contractor should contact the school to make them aware.

“The school would then decide if the pupils should be returned to their pick-up point and parents informed.

“SPT will advise us of the outcome of their investigation, which should include a report from the operator.“

The father of two of the pupils added: “Its just one of those things that should not happen.

“We were lucky that we had someone who was able to go get them, but other kids who didn’t have someone in Kilsyth were left to struggle home.”

Earlier this month the council announced that funding for school transportation would be protected.

However, it is still facing a £21.8 million cut to its budget for the 2018/19 financial year, assuming there is a three per cent council tax increase, this will raise around £3 million. The council already has plans in place to save £9.7 million from its forthcoming budget but savings of more than £8 million still need to be found.

Council officers have developed a range of saving options to the value of £14.7 million, that can be viewed online or picking up an information leaflet from libraries, and are asking for the public’s feedback.

Drop-in sessions has been organised to meet with community engagement teams and talk through the options at Kilsyth Library on Wednesday, January 31, and Cumbernauld Library on Monday, February 5, both from noon–2pm.

Council chief executive Paul Jukes said: “Everyone will have different opinions on how we make these savings, depending on how you use and interact with council services.

“It’s important to remember that these are options, not decisions. That’s why it’s vital that we hear from you. Your feedback is important and will help to influence how we make those savings.”