Issue - meetings

Evidence from appellant A

Meeting: 24/09/2019 - Regulatory Sub-Committee (School Transport Appeal) (Item 11)

Evidence from Appellant

To consider the presentation and documentation of the appellant, outlining their reasons for appeal.

Minutes:

The Panel noted the written evidence that had been provided by the appellant.


Meeting: 21/11/2018 - Regulatory Sub-Committee (School Transport Appeal) (Item 5)

Evidence from Appellant

To consider the presentation and documentation of the appellant, outlining their reasons for appeal.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The appellant expressed their gratitude to the Committee for having walked the route and noted that the impact the distance had on the children was noticeable. The appellant accepted the financial situation that the County Council was in but believed that the situation for Ancells Farm was unique.

 

The appellant explained how Ancells Farm had been built thirty years ago, and as there was no School on the estate a bus service was provided to the local school. The appellant stated they believe the decision to remove this service had been rushed and not properly scrutinized following comments made by their local MP and District Council. The appellant highlighted that the issue was in relation to her child being four years old, which is not the statutory school age, when starting in September. However a response from the Department of Education had stated that the Government expected Local Authorities to provide transport using their discretionary powers.

 

The appellant finished by noting that their child would start school with other children using the Bus Service, and as they would all receive the same education, abide by the same code of conduct at the school etc. they should also have the same transport options available to them. The appellant noted that as a seat would be provided for their child the following year, this probably meant there would be an empty seat on the bus waiting for them up until this point.

 

The appellant noted that there were many unsafe aspects of the route which had been identified by Fleet but disregarded by Hampshire County Council (HCC) which were noticeable when navigating the route this morning. The following were highlighted as particular issues;

·         Cove Road crossing – two traffic analysis have taken place on this road which have both identified a heavy flow of traffic. The refuge in the road is required but is very small.

·         Train Station Area – has a footpath but it is very narrow and slanted. Commuters use this area and get frustrated by slow pedestrians.

·         Business Park Crossing – this area is difficult to cross and a child would not have clear site lines at the crossing points. A driver may not be able to see the child either.

 

The appellant finished by noting that Ancells farm is an estate without a school, segregated by a train line and that a commitment was made by HCC to provide a bus service. If this is continued for children aged 5-8 years old then it is inadequate not to provide to other ages also.

 

With the Chairman’s agreement, Cllr Collett (Councillor for Yateley East & Blackwater) spoke on behalf of the appeal.

 

Cllr Collett explained that his division included the area before the railway and that Cllr Forster was the County Councillor for the Fleet Town, the area south of the railway.

Cllr Collett explained how Ancells Farm estate was built in the 1980’s and the plan originally included a Primary School; the developer was to provide the land and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5


Meeting: 13/11/2018 - Regulatory Sub-Committee (School Transport Appeal) (Item 5)

Evidence from Appellant

To consider the presentation and documentation of the appellant, outlining their reasons for appeal.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Panel heard that the appellant wishes to appeal the decision based on both Safety and Distance grounds.

 

In relation to distance, the appellant raised two issues with the route as measured by the Council;

·         The route was measured from where their property meets the road and not from their door, and

·         The route was measured to a school gate and not to the classroom their child would need to walk to.

 

The appellant argued that the extra distance above should be included and would have taken the measurement over the three miles in the legislation.

 

In relation to Safety, the appellant noted that the Highway Code required crossings to be used and highlighted the Council’s duty of care responsibilities under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. The appellant argued that the crossing used on the A340 was not safe, but there was a safe pedestrian crossing approximately 100 metres further down the road which could be used. It was noted that this extra distance would also take the route over the three mile limit.

The appellant also noted that this route was unique in relation to an atomic hazard as the home and school are both within the AWE Site A emergency planning area. The Appellant explained that Radiation Emergency Preparedness and Public Information Regulations (REPPIR) 2001 states that individuals should go indoors in the case of an emergency within a five minute window. The appellant noted that children were considered a vulnerable group and so there was a higher responsibility and this shelter could not be found if mid route.

 

The appellant also noted the effect on climate change, as the bus that had been taken off the road would result in at least twenty additional cars.

 

In response to questions members heard that;

  • Classrooms were not used as a measuring point as this would not be consistent for other children and so a school entrance is used. This was initially the gate to the Leisure Centre on the school grounds but is now further onto the school site following advice from the Local Government Ombudsman (LGO).
  • As far as officers were aware the LGO had not conducted a site visit when reviewing the previous appeal.
  • All previous route measurements taken from by the Local Authority have been from where the property boundary to the school gate and this was common practice with other authorities to the best of officers’ knowledge.
  • Case law in relation to School Transport Appeals is usually on safety grounds and there has not been a case go to court to contest the three mile distance measurement.
  • Officers were unable to confirm if the refuge that formed part of the crossing on the A340 met the required standards. It was noted that there was not enough space between the pedestrian refuge in the road and the bus stop for overtaking and that a traffic light had seemingly been hit recently judging by its angle.
  • That a recent Junior Road Safety Officers  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5

Meeting: 15/05/2018 - Regulatory Sub-Committee (School Transport Appeal) (Item 6)

Evidence from appellant A

Minutes:

The Sub-Committee considered the presentation and documentation of appellant A outlining their reasons for appeal.

 

Members were informed that:

 

·         The appellant’s reasons for submitting their appeal were based primarily upon distance grounds. Appellant A considered the route had not been measured accurately by the Road Safety Officer and that it was over the 3 mile requirement.

·         The appellant did not consider the proposed crossing point at the A340 to be safe.

·         The appellant considered that there would be a negative impact upon their child’s education should the Council funded home to school transport not be reinstated due to the time taken to walk the route.

 

RESOLVED:

 

The Sub-Committee agreed that the walking route from Furze Cottage, Silchester Road, Pamber Heath to The Hurst was available to walk unaccompanied.