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“The recession has put some parents in the dreadful situation of having to balance their worsening finances against the possible risk to their children walking along what most people locally believe are dangerous roads. Of course there have to be rules but the fact that in neighbouring properties one child receives a free place but the youngster next door doesn’t is difficult to justify when they would both have to walk exactly the same route to school bar a few yards. “It makes it all the more foolish when school buses are leaving villages like Whittington with empty seats and then driving past children who are having to walk the same route. The £17million cost of the County-owned yellow bus fleet is prohibitive and the fact that so many yellow buses are parked by the roadside between school pick up and drop off times is a waste of tax payers’ money. The review is likely to find that providing a subsidised young persons’ travel card for normal public transport will not only make it cheaper for those going to school but will also provide an excellent opportunity to expand commercial public transport services across rural areas.”The County’s current policy assessing whether a walk to school is safe has been criticised by Whittington parents. They say it fails to account for the time of year and whether the walk is done in daylight or darkness, ignores the fact that during summertime the verges which make up for the lack of any footways are not available because of dense seasonal vegetation and ignores the views of the local parish council.