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invited David Blunkett, the chairman of a new yellow bus commission
to visit its My bus scheme, the UK's largest yellow bus
operation, which transport almost 8,000 pupils to and from school
Welcoming proposals by bus company First to establish a yellow
bus commission chaired by Mr Blunkett, Metro Chairman, Councillor
Ryk Downes, said, "Metro has been running the largest Yellow Bus
scheme of its kind, My bus, since
"It now carries almost 8,000 pupils to and from 75 primary and
46 secondary schools on a fleet of 133 purpose-built, low-floor,
easy-access buses, all of which are fitted with seatbelts and CCTV
"Knowing their children can travel to school on safe, modern
buses, with dedicated drivers on each route means parents don't
have to make the 'school run' each morning. Our scheme has taken
thousands of car journeys off local roads, reducing pollution and
congestion and improving road safety around the school gate.
"If Mr Blunkett wants to find out how to make yellow school
buses a success, West Yorkshire is the place to come," continued
"Our scheme has been hailed by Tony Blair and visited by former
Transport Minister Karen Buck, Schools Minister Lord Adonis and
shadow Ministers David Willetts and Chris Grayling. Local MPs Barry
Sheerman and Philip Davies have seen the benefits of the scheme for
themselves as has Peter Lampl of the Sutton Trust."
One hundred and thirty-three vehicles are in use in West
Yorkshire (rising to 150 in September 2007) and services are run by
international operators such as First, small, local companies with
only a few vehicles and newcomers such as CT Plus (Hackney
Research has shown that the number of car journeys converted
into My bus
journeys has been as high as 91% in some parts of West Yorkshire.
Across primary schools an average of 68% of My
bus pupils formerly travelled to school in a car.
Without the daily school run, those pupils' parents are, on
average, saving 54 minutes and driving 30km less every week.
Where My bus has been introduced at
schools for pupils with Special Education Needs, headteachers have
told us it has had the added benefit of giving pupils who formerly
travelled to school by taxi, extra confidence and independence.