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Concerns over new bus routes with no seatbelts in Bucks

County Council say some public routes don't need them

Published by the Mix96 News Team at 5:49am 8th November 2019. 3-minute read.

Concerns over new bus routes with no seatbelts in Bucks

One Buckinghamshire dad is worried the new bus routes here are putting children's lives at risk.

He's concerned that a new Red Rose route, that used to be Heyfordian, now has no seatbelts.

We spoke to Bucks County Council about his concerns and they said they adhere to national safety standards and that depending on the type of vehicle, not all need seatbelts.

A Buckinghamshire County Council spokesman said:

"The safety of all children on school transport is of paramount importance and operators' services must be provided in a way that complies with the very stringent national legislation that is in place for transport operators. All bus and coach companies use national Public Service Vehicle standards which are set and monitored by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA).

"All buses and coaches on school transport routes in Buckinghamshire comply with these safety and maintenance standards which are monitored by qualified DVSA vehicle examiners. County Council officers work collaboratively with the DVSA, assisting where required, particularly for school transport routes.
"We would like to reassure all parents and carers that the new commercially-provided school bus routes introduced this week are being run to the same safety standards as the routes that were previously commissioned by the county council. With regard to seatbelts, legislation is in place which determines which vehicles must have seatbelts fitted.

There have been problems with home-to-school transport since September

They continued:

"Vehicles built for public bus routes are designed for the carriage of wheelchairs and buggies and also for safe standing. These have their speed limited and will not have seatbelts fitted. Coaches and minibuses do not have limited speeds and are designed to be able to travel long distances at high speeds on motorways and for this reason these must have seatbelts fitted. We have always used a mix of buses and coaches as part of our home to school transport provision and this is usual practice across the country.
"In order to ensure appropriate protection is in place, all our commercial bus operators have voluntarily committed to maintaining the same standards for safeguarding children and vulnerable adults as we have in place and we are regularly monitoring the new services to ensure all operators comply with this.
"The use of these commercial bus services brings many benefits: ticket prices are often cheaper for users of the bus services and the services are more sustainable in the longer-term. Importantly, some of these services can also provide additional travel options for the wider community including those who only have access to public transport."

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