WA Budget disappointing for school bus sector

By: Chris Smith


Western Australia’s Transport Forum say it is very disappointing that the recent State budget has not included additional funding for

Western Australia’s Transport Forum say it is very disappointing that the recent State budget has not included additional funding for air conditioning and extras (bull bars, stone guards, sun visors and window tinting) in the budget allocation for all school buses.

The Chairman of the School Bus Committee of Transport Forum Ian Harrower says it is particularly frustrating as the Industry has waited patiently for many years and has worked constructively with Government and the Public Transport Authority to bring about a successful conclusion.

"PTA does not require all school buses to be air conditioned. Air conditioning is not only used for cooling purposes. It is a safety issue. Effective air conditioning helps to keep windows defrosted in colder weather thus providing clear visibility for the driver who is transporting our most important asset – our children," Harrower says.

Industry highlighted the need for air conditioning in all of the orange school buses in the interests of safety, comfort and application of Government priorities and to be available for use at any time.

"The Government’s commitment to safety is clearly demonstrated through the policy of the fitting of seat belts. However, the safety implication of poor visibility with misty windscreens and side windows is not taken into consideration and may actually present a greater risk profile for the students" Harrower explains.

"Buses carrying students in the metropolitan area are all air conditioned, providing comfort over relatively short distances. Generally, children in the orange school buses are on board for much longer periods and a comfortable ride will deliver them home in a better frame of mind. Rural children are being discriminated against.

"Air conditioning, which provides extra safety, effective circulation and a more comfortable ride for both driver and students, should be available to all school buses. Unfortunately, this government thinks otherwise," he says.

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