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CARDIFF Council's decision to withdraw paid-for passes for spare seats on school coaches has put one Pentyrch dad - who did not wish to be named - in a quandary.

His son wants to start A-level courses at school in Radyr, but no longer qualifies for free school transport, as he's 16.

Getting to school on public transport would take about 90 minutes, travelling on two buses. The family would have to buy tickets for two different bus companies.

The boy's mum could drop their son in Radyr at 7.30am on her way to work - an hour before school starts. She could pick him up at 5pm, long after school finishes.

"Are the schools going to provide them with that option to hang around and study?" asked the dad.

He and other parents are exploring hiring their own bus.

"You would have another bus going to exactly the same place as the bus which is travelling there half empty," he says. "We've also talked about car pooling.

"When the children get to 17 we're all going to look at getting them cars, and there will be more cars on the road going back and forth to school."

Alternatively their son could go to further education in the city centre, easier to reach from Pentyrch. If several students did the same, the school's sixth form could be undermined.

"It's a huge headache and it's a barrier to a lot of people," the dad said. "We're not struggling financially, but other people may be wondering, 'What do I do?' "It's typical, politicians thinking they're doing the right thing but not considering the long-term implications. It's right to improve the transport for disabled people, but you've also not got to be discriminating against those people who are able-bodied and wanting to improve themselves."

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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Sep 2, 2019
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