Council rethink on school transport from Morton

Gary Thrower, from Morton, and his daughters Laura, 13, and Ellie, 11. 'Photo: MSMP040214-031ow
Gary Thrower, from Morton, and his daughters Laura, 13, and Ellie, 11. 'Photo: MSMP040214-031ow
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Village residents will be able to send their children to secondary school for free after a council changed its transport policy.

Gary Thrower, of Church View Close, Morton, applied for a free bus pass for his daughter Laura when she started at Bourne Academy.

His application was turned down by Lincolnshire County Council because the family live within a three-mile radius of the school. Anyone living within that distance is not entitled to free transport.

But Mr Thrower appealed, arguing that the pavement alongside the A15 that 13-year-old Laura would have to take to school was unsuitable.

The council reconsidered and agreed with Mr Thrower. Laura and any other Morton pupil under 16 have since been offered free transport to school in Bourne.

Mr Thrower, who was refunded the cost of the £380 bus pass he bought for the current school year, was delighted with the council’s decision.

He said the A15 was not the best road to walk alongside, adding: “It was a stupid situation where if Laura didn’t get the bus, how would she get to school?

“She couldn’t walk along that road to school.”

The council’s decision means Laura’s younger sister Ellie, 11, will also be eligible for a free bus pass when she starts at Bourne Academy in September.

And Mr Thrower has already spoken to several Morton residents whose children are now benefitting from the revised transport policy.

School services manager at Lincolnshire County Council David Robinson said: “We carry out an assessment of the walking route from Morton to the Bourne Academy each year and it has always been considered suitable. However, our latest review showed an increase in the amount of traffic on nearby roads, which we feel makes the route unsuitable.

“As a result, we will now offer free transport to children who live in the village. I have written to the parents of 40 children who have previously applied for transport to make them aware of this new arrangement.

“If you live in the area and aren’t sure if your child may be entitled to free transport, please contact the council’s customer services team on 01522 782020.”