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Council Concern at Potential Stopping of School Bus Services

22 February 2013

Council Concerned at Potential Stopping of School Bus Services

The Waikato District Council is concerned about the proposal by the Ministry of Education to withdraw funding for school bus services in Huntly and Ngaruawahia.

The two routes within the Waikato district are among a number bus routes the Ministry is looking at across the Waikato. The Ministry is in discussions with the Waikato Regional Council who runs the services.

“The loss of these heavily subscribed services will be a blow to our communities,” said Councillor Noel Smith, chair of the council’s Roading and Transportation Committee.

“We urge the Ministry and the Regional Council to take all possible steps to find a way to ensure these vital services are retained, or else transfer the currently allocated level of funding to another provider,” Cr Smith said.

The current commercial services that run at morning and afternoon peak times do not have the capacity to carry the additional numbers of school pupils that currently use the school bus service, Cr Smith said. It would not be commercially viable to purchase additional buses to transport the children to school, and leave them idle for the rest of the day, Cr Smith added.

Waikato District Mayor Allan Sanson said “getting our children to school is a critical investment in the future of our district, so we need a resolution to this issue which sees school bus services retained.”

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