A petition has been launched in protest against Cornwall Council's proposals to cut 16 school bus routes across the county.

From south-east Cornwall to Cape Cornwall, the loss of publicly-funded transport will see primary school pupils and community college students walking to school along routes deemed safe buy council inspectors, or driven in by family members.

The campaign has been created by Noah Law, a Labour Party activist based in Lostwithiel, on the website 38 Degrees. When complete, the petition will be delivered directly to Conservative council leader Linda Taylor.

“Surprisingly, Cornwall Council's proposals to cut school bus routes without proper consultation have not led to a unified backlash or petition against the measures,” he said.

“Protest has been quite dispersed across community groups, with many parents still not informed of the changes which are set to take place as early as next school year.

“For some, this will mean around two hours' walk to school and back each day. While that’sa nice thought on a bright, sunny day with no time pressures, it’s a huge blow to many families.”

He claimed staff and parents at Poltair School in St Austell, and in Liskeard, were “furious” at the proposals.

“Some of these routes are extremely dangerous to walk down, with very poor or no pavement and are on roads with the national speed limit, so the ‘Suitable to Walk’ assessments conducted are clearly not fit for purpose,” he continued.

Mr Law estimates the cuts will affect 1,000 students. He is targeting 100 signatures but adds: “I expect the number to rise significantly once various assistant headteachers are able to release it to affected parents, councillors in the east and west gather more feedback, and the fight against the cuts comes into the news.

"This isn't about party politics, more about a daft decision. I am genuinely surprised that no one has coordinated a Cornwall-wide opposition to this proposal. Whatever your politics, I would urge you to sign this petition."

He claims the proposals will have a detrimental impact on school attendance. “It has already dropped off a cliff since the pandemic, hitting the most disadvantaged students hardest. Slashing school bus routes will make things worse.

“This is just another example of small short-term savings by Cornwall Council that will lead to huge long-term costs, for both families and taxpayers. As such, we are asking for the immediate withdrawal of the proposal.”


The full list of proposed closures is: Minorca Lane to Bugle School; Penwithick to Poltair School; Foxhole to Brannel School; Joan Moffat Close to Liskeard Hillfort School; Porthtowan to Mount Hawke Academy; Tregadillet, South Petherwin and Prince Phillip Estate to Launceston College; St Cleer, Lamellion and Dobwalls to Liskeard School and Community College; Hatt to Landulph School; Delabole to Sir James Smith’s School (Camelford); Burlawn to Wadebridge School; Cury to Mullion School; and Truthwall to Cape Cornwall School.