Sunday, April 14, 2013

School bus services during Harris Academy decant

In recent months, with the decant of Harris Academy to the Rockwell site fast approaching in August, the issue of school transport for pupils has been extensively discussed at the Harris Academy Project Board and at the school's Parent Council.

I have been anxious that bus arrangements are satisfactory for pupils and ensuring that those pupils who live a distance from the decant site at Rockwell (obviously the majority of pupils given the Harris Academy catchment area) are given a bus pass and that satisfactory bus routes and options are available.

Following recent enquiries to me from constituents about progress, the Sustainable Transport Team Leader at Dundee City Council has advised me:

"My team is working with NXD to identify the most suitable routes for the two new schoolday only bus services to serve the Harris once it has moved to Lawton Road.  Each route will be operated with a double decker. The exact route is still to be confirmed, but it is likely that one bus will operate via Perth Road and the other via Blackness Road.  

The services currently operating to the Perth Road site from St Marys/Claverhouse will be cancelled at the end of June 2013.  We have also asked NXD to allocate larger vehicles to the bus services that are routed along Strathmore Avenue and are likely to be used by pupils at school times for travelling to and from school.

I am very conscious that we need to get the right message to the pupils/parents about their travel arrangements during the decant period.  We will be working with the school to provide high quality travel information once final routes are confirmed."

I am pleased with progress thus far on the bus travel issue and it is vital that there are adequate services for pupils leaving from Perth Road and from the Blackness Road area.    It is an issue I will be keeping a close eye on in the coming weeks as we move towards the start of the school's decant for three years, starting in August of this year.