Eskbank and Mayfield parents’ delight at Dalkeith Campus school bus decision

Parents and children who use the bus from Eskbank, pictured before the council's decision was dropped.
Parents and children who use the bus from Eskbank, pictured before the council's decision was dropped.

The council’s decision to scrap the proposed cuts to school buses to Dalkeith Campus has been welcomed by the parents of the affected pupils.

Councillors last week unanimously passed a motion to reverse the controversial decision to remove school buses for St David’s High and Dalkeith High School pupils.

The removal of free buses for 100 secondary pupils sparked anger in Mayfield and Eskbank when it was announced last month.

Pupils, who live within three miles of the campus, were no longer to receive transport from Midlothian Council when they returned from their summer holidays in August. The council said this cut would save £46,000 in this financial year and £76,000 annually thereafter.

Angela Marshall is delighted her daughters Megan (15)and Amy (13) McLaughlin will not have to walk or get public transport to travel the 2.9 miles from their Mayfield home to St David’s.

She said: “We are really ecstatic. It’s good to know that the kids are going to go to the school safe and dry and not have to worry about the weather. The girls are relieved they don’t have to walk or hang about for buses.

“At the end of the day it’s the children’s safety that’s obviously our priority, to ensure the kids get to school safely.

“I just want to thank Midlothian Council for listening and reconsidering. I know it’s only for at least two years but at least for now the children are safe going to school.”

Despite the reversal, Angela remained critical of the council’s initial decision.

She said: “The council needs to consult with us rather than sending letters out after the decision has been made, and then not even returning emails. It’s just common sense that you should consult first. Now they have had to back down. I’m delighted we have won.

“Midlothian Council did everything the wrong way. They weren’t listening to us. But we are really happy with the outcome. We can relax for the time being.”

Julie Sutherland, the parent of a pupil affected in Eskbank, also welcomed last week’s decision.

She said: “It’s a great result, we fully appreciate that cuts are needed but are glad that there is now time to fully consult on the proposals, and allow a full analysis of the bus transport.

“The safety of our children needs to be a priority, and we need to ensure the policy is equal for all.”