Linlithgow-Academy bound bus slammed for safety

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Dismayed parents, who send their youngsters to Linlithgow Academy, have flagged up serious health and safety fears about school transport.

Last week pupils from Winchburgh were left without a service after issues arose with their bus, which is provided by school contractor E&M Horsburgh, and which parents say is not fit for purpose.

Fed-up mum Kareen Scotland explained: “On Monday the school bus broke down and there was no bus available to rescue children and most walked home missing school.

“On Wednesday, the bus did not turn up and pupils again were missing school. The company did not know where the bus was nor did pupils. A bus arrived at 9am to collect what children had stayed but again there was no contact to the parents to advise if there was a new bus coming.

“This has been an ongoing issue for more than two years and we have concerns about the buses themselves.

“There are windows missing, water is dripping from the roof, seats are patched up with tape and there is mould around windows. Cattle and pigs are transported in a cleaner environment and they want us to put children on these buses!”

Another parent, Peter Bell said: “I’m worried these are the things we can see. What about the things we can’t? This company do their own repairs – when they do them, that is. And they have the contract for many buses in West Lothian schools!”

Advising parents to go through an online complaints procedure a West Lothian Council spokesperson said: “WLC is aware of parent and community concerns regarding the school bus from Winchburgh to Linlithgow Academy and is currently investigating all complaints received. West Lothian Council has a penalty point system in place to deal with issues arising from the running of school contracts which can result in the termination of contracts.

“WLC takes the safe transport of our school children extremely seriously and will take all necessary steps to ensure the service provided by operators is acceptable for all concerned.”

Meanwhile, bus company director Mark Horsburgh said: “E&M Horsburgh have been operating this school route since August 2016.

“West Lothian Council will confirm that our operational record over that time has been excellent.

“I can also confirm we had two unforeseen operational issues last week. Passenger safety is the utmost concern to E&M Horsburgh and all our vehicles meet current WLC contract specifications.”