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Daily Record
Daily Record
Gemma Ryder

'Chaos' as Scots school bus routes cut last minute for first day of new term

Dozens of school bus routes have been cut for pupils last minute in North Lanarkshire on the first day of term.

A total of 43 routes will not be running on Wednesdays for students attending both primary and secondary schools in the region.

It comes as Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT), who organise mainstream contracts for North Lanarkshire Council, have failed to get drivers for certain routes.

North Lanarkshire Council said they were only informed of the issue late on Tuesday afternoon by SPT and branded it as "wholly unacceptable".

It is unknown why contracts for all needed bus routes have not been found but taxi contractors for Additional special needs schools have also withdrawn their contracts in the last 48 hours due to a "shortage of drivers".

Other Scottish councils have reported similar difficulties.

A statement from North Lanarkshire Council told parents and guardians: "We have been informed today by SPT, who organise mainstream school transport contracts on our behalf, that they have been unable to organise transport on a range of routes.

"SPT has not informed us specifically why they have been unable to carry out this task and their informing the council of these issues at the last minute is wholly unacceptable.

"SPT has apologised and accepted that this should not have happened. However, certainly on Wednesday August 17, the routes detailed in the table above will not run.

"In addition, a number of taxi contractors for ASN schools have withdrawn from their contracts in the last 48 hours due to a shortage of qualified drivers."

High schools affected include; Airdrie Academy, Braidhurst High, Calderhead High, Caldervale High, Chryston High, Clyde VCalley High, Dalziel High, Greenfaulds, Kilsyth Academy, Our Lady's High (both Cumbernauld and Motherwell), St Andrew's High, St Maurice's High, St Aidan's and Taylor High.

Primary schools without routes include; Condorrat, Greengairs, Holy Family, Shawhead, St Andrew's, St David's, St John Paul II, St Patrick's, St Teresa's, St Thomas' and Woodlands.

It is not known if the issue will continue past Wednesday.

The statement continued: "SPT has apologised and is committed to working with the council to resolve these issues as quickly as possible.

"Officers from our transport team will contact families affected by ASN provision directly to discuss and explore options.

"For those affected by transport issues for mainstream provision, we are appealing to parents and carers to find suitable alternative means for children and young people to get to and from school.

"We make as much use of our council fleet as possible taking account of available vehicles and drivers. However, the demand for transport far exceeds this capacity.

"We will continue to work with SPT to resolve the issue, as well as examining other options as quickly as possible. This includes contacting all available transport providers to help us.

"We will update as soon as we have any new information, and communicate with parents via group call."

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