York council considers seat belts on all school buses

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Every school bus used by City of York Council could be fitted with a seat belt from next year, under changes being considered by the authority.

Currently half of the buses provided by the council do not have seat belts because it is not a legal requirement.

The council said it would look into making it compulsory when contracts go out to tender in early 2013.

York MP Julian Sturdy said he would be calling for the law on the issue to be changed.

Move welcomed

Councillor Janet Looker, cabinet member for education, children and young people's services, said: "Every single bus that we commission that takes primary school children to their schools are all well and truly fitted with seat belts.

"Obviously the issue around the older school children is slightly more complicated but it is an issue we have very much in our minds.

"It's one of the factors that we will be putting into our new contract system."

Mr Sturdy, MP for York Outer, said he welcomed the move by the council but that it was a wider issue.

He said: "I think there's an overriding picture here, should it be for City of York Council to look at, or should it be mandatory for all local authorities to have seat belts on all buses which are taking school children to school."

Mr Sturdy said the law should be changed and said he would be raising the issue with the relevant departments.

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