1 Sep 2018

Govt wants to ban standing on school buses

1:46 pm on 1 September 2018

Children could be banned from standing on school buses after a joint commitment from the Ministry of Education and the Transport Agency.

School bus

School bus Photo: 123rf.com

After lobbying from the Queenstown Lakes Mayor Jim Boult, the Ministry of Education has agreed to consider ensuring a seat for every student, every day, dependent on affordability and feasability.

Education Infrastructure Service head Kim Shannon said the ministry is investigating the affordability and feasblitly of providing seats on buses for all students on open roads, with urban roads to follow.

Mr Boult said he was "delighted" by the news.

The safety issues had been raised with him earlier this year by the Wanaka Primary School board of trustees chair Andrew Howard.

Mr Boult took the matter up with both the ministry and the Transport Agency.

Moving towards children from standing on school buses was a "bold" decision, Mr Boult said.

"There will be costs involved in bringing additional capacity into the school bus fleet, but I applaud them for responding to the concerns raised.

"It's a change that needs to be made to reduce the risks to our district's children travelling to and from school."

This article has been amended for clarity.