Published 09 March 2023

West Dunbartonshire Council is seeking residents’ views on plans to bring free school transport in line with the national statutory requirements.

The council agreed at their meeting in December to reduce the provision which currently exceeds statutory provision by providing transport for children who live one mile from their catchment primary school and two miles from their catchment secondary school.

Members of the Educational Services Committee approved the launch of a consultation on the updated approach, which would mean only children living two miles from their catchment primary and three miles from their catchment secondary school would be entitled to free school transport.

Free school transport is currently provided for children to the following schools Clydebank High School; Dumbarton Academy; Gartocharn Primary School; Knoxland Primary School; Linnvale Primary School; Our Lady & St Patrick’s High School; St Peter the Apostle High School; St Eunan’s Primary School; St. Mary’s Primary School, Alexandria; St Mary’s Primary School, Duntocher; St Patrick’s Primary School and Vale of Level Academy.

The Council is currently reviewing the routes to the above schools and once assessed the routes will be checked for safety by road safety officers.

The consultation will run for 31 days when schools are open to pupils from Thursday 9 March 2023 to Tuesday 9 May 2023 and three public meetings will be held to give residents, parents and carers the chance to give their views.  The public meetings will be held at Our lady and St Partick’s High School on Tuesday, 18 April at 7pm; St Peter the Apostle High School on Wednesday, 19 April 2023 at 7pm and in Vale of Leven Academy on Tuesday, 25 April 2023 at 7pm. Residents who are unable to attend the meetings in person will be able to join online.

Convener of Educational Services, Councillor Clare Steel, said: “I fully support the launch of this consultation which will allow parents and carers the opportunity to make their voices heard on the change to free school transport.  It is important to note that these plans do not affect families of children and young people with an additional support need or children who are educated outwith West Dunbartonshire. Some pupils who live outwith the one and two mile radius will still receive school transport if there is no safe walking route to their school.    I would encourage parents and carers to give us their views either online or in person at one of the three public meetings.”   

Vice Convener of Educational Services, Councillor John Millar, said: “I know the opportunity to be consulted on the proposal will be welcomed by parents and carers of young people who use school transport. Families will know of their child’s eligibility prior to the start of the new term in August. In the meantime we are keen to hear the views of parents and carers so we can discuss the plan and how this will work going forward.”

The Proposal Document will be published on the Council’s website and copies will be available from the reception point at the schools effected.

The Proposal Document is available in alternative formats or in translated form for those whose first language is not English.  Comments and representations can also be made by calling 01389 737391 and by emailing or in writing to Chief Education Officer, West Dunbartonshire Council, 16 Church Street, Dumbarton G82 1QL. Comments and representations should be received no later than Tuesday, 9 May 2023.

Feedback from the consultation and the appropriate recommendations will be presented to a future meeting of Educational Services Committee.