Minister signals action on school run

SCHOOLS minister Stephen Twigg has lent his support to TransportEnergy's campaign for improved air quality around UK schools. Speaking at this month's Labour Party conference in Bournemouth Twigg said: "The government shares TransportEnergy's concerns over the environmental and health implications of the school run. Congestion on the roads around schools is a serious problem and it is putting the health of our children at risk.

"It is crucial that local authorities, schools and parents alike all do their bit to reduce harmful emissions - whether through using cleaner fuel vehicles or other alternatives, such as walking or cycling to school."

TransportEnergy, part of the Energy Saving Trust, is concerned that almost a third of children are now regularly driven to school. This increases levels of pollution and vehicle emissions around schools, potentially damaging children's health. 

...Whilst Norfolk Green Is forced off school's contract by parents threats

NORFOLK GREEN has withdrawn from a county council-backed schools' service because of parents abusing its drivers. Tempers have frayed at Terrington High School as parents dropping children off in their cars have threatened school bus drivers, accusing them of blocking the road.

It has begun to turn ugly since bus drivers have been dissuaded from mounting the kerb to avoid the parents' parked cars after a magistrate fined one of their former colleagues £700 plus putting points on his licence for a similar manoeuvre.

Local police are refusing to get involved on the drivers' behalf and recent incidents involving threats of violence to the bus drivers has led Norfolk Green and another contracted operator to withdraw from the service.

"This issue has been running in the local press for weeks now, but the police are refusing to help us sort it out," Norfolk Green's Ben Colson told Bus and Coach Professional. "The government says it must tackle the school run but the actuality on the ground is that unless the police, who are at the front line enforce it, nothing will be achieved."