Parents fear for children's safety
PARENTS are furious that the bus taking their young children to school no longer has seatbelts.
Youngsters heading to Cherry Burton Primary School from villages such as South Dalton have been used to buckling up for safety.
But when the bus turned up at the start of this school term, the seatbelts had gone after East Riding Council went for the cheaper option of seats without belts.
It has led to some parents in the village boycotting the service and opting to drive their children by car.
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Mum Jenha Denman said: "They're putting finances ahead of children's safety.
"It's as if our children are not worth the money. There are so many hazards on the roads. They need seatbelts."
Mrs Denman now drives her children, Izzy, 10, Kira, 8, and Rosa, 5, to school.
She has written to East Riding Council asking for a change of policy.
Council leader Stephen Parnaby wrote to Mrs Denman, saying there was no legal requirement for school buses to have seatbelts and installing them would mean an increase in costs.
Mr Parnaby wrote: "There have been no incidents in the East Riding of children being hurt or injured where the absence of seatbelts was a relevant or significant factor.
"The operator now contracted to provide the relevant service to Cherry Burton is reputable and very experienced in providing home-to- school bus services.
"There, therefore, appear to be no grounds for making any changes to the bus service."
Peter Shipp, chief executive of bus contractor East Yorkshire Motor Services, said his company had provided two prices for the bus, which picks up from Holme-on-the-Wolds, Dalton Holme, South Dalton and Etton. One quote included seatbelts, while the other did not. The council opted for the lower price.
Mr Shipp said the cost of fitting seatbelts to a bus would be about £2,500.
He said: "Statistically, children are safer travelling to school by bus than by any other means."
Mrs Denman said: "Only about four or five children are using the service now and I'm driving 12 miles a day to take the children to school and back."