More yellow buses to take to the road
A further 60 yellow school buses will be taking to the road later this year following DfT approval of the second phase of funding for the My Bus project.
This latest phase of funding worth £7.3 million 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, and this has resulted in a reduction in school gate congestion and car use.
"It is important that we explore new options for reducing congestion on the school run," said transport secretary Alistair Darling. "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 £18.7 million. By the end of February 11 brand new custom-built buses will be introduced, and they will be carrying total of 1100 West Yorkshire children to and from school each day.