this year following approval today of the second phase
of funding for the 'My Bus' project by transport secretary Alistair
This latest phase of funding worth£7.3m will enable the
scheme to be rolled out to over 100 primary and secondary schools
across West Yorkshire. Over 1,000 pupils in the area already use
yellow buses, which has resulted in a major reduction in school gate
congestion and car use. This money follows the£3.9m given to
launch the scheme last year.
Mr Darling said:
'It is important that we explore new options for reducing congestion
on the school run. At ten to nine in the morning around one in five
cars on the road is on the school run and we are all aware of the
extra congestion this causes in the rush hour. These new buses will
provide a real alternative for children travelling to and from
schools across West Yorkshire and will make the distinctive yellow
school buses an increasingly common, and welcome site on the road.
'The first phase of this project has proved successful in reducing
traffic on the school run resulting in environmental and safety
benefits. Fewer cars on the road means less congestion and, in
particular, fewer vehicles near schools reduces the risk of
accidents. The buses are also an excellent way for children to
interact and learn about public transport.
'We will be watching the success of this scheme and I hope that other
areas will consider the merits of yellow buses and the real benefits
that well-planned schemes can bring.'
Early figures from the first phase show that the average drop in car
use has been over 60 per cent, with one school in Brighouse showing a
drop as high as 91 per cent. A primary school in Bradford has
reported a 30 per cent reduction in cars outside the school gate and
of those pupils now using the yellow bus, over 60 per cent previously
travelled by car.
The My Bus scheme, operated by Metro, the West Yorkshire Passenger
Transport Executive, aims to serve around 300 schools in a three-year
phased project costing a total of£18.7m. By the end of
February they will have introduced 11 brand new custom-built buses
and they will be carrying total of 1,100 West Yorkshire children to
and from school each day.
1. The high visibility yellow buses are single deck and fully
accessible. Each pupil has their own high-backed padded seat with a
seatbelt. The vehicles are fully accredited by the Belt Up School
Kids (BUSK) campaign. Each bus has on board CCTV and is driven by a
2. The funding also covers the cost of a telephone hotline service
which parents can use to relay messages to the driver. Drivers have a
register of all pupils who travel on the bus - parents call the
hotline if their child is going to be absent from school, and drivers
call the hotline if a registered child is not at their usual pick-up
3. The Department for Transport announced in December 2003 that as
part ofthe 2004-5 LTP settlement the West Yorkshire Education
Transport Scheme (Mybus) would receive£18.7m of funding. The funds
were to be released in 3 stages, the last two being conditional on
the promoters satisfying the Department that the scheme was likely to
meet its objectives. The£7.3m announced today is the second of the
three stage payments.