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School buses 'cutting congestion'

16 December 07 12:18 GMT

Yellow school buses are cutting congestion and improving pupils' behaviour and attendance in Greater Manchester, according to a report.

Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Authority (GMPTA) pays for the services to 22 schools, providing journeys for more than 2,000 pupils.

A report to the authority said the buses had taken about 265,000 car miles off the road this school year.

Anti-social behaviour on school buses has reduced by 75%.

Schools have also praised the services, based on the American school buses, for improving attendance records, the authority said.

Two more vehicles are due to be introduced at schools in Wigan next year, taking the number of yellow school buses in Greater Manchester to 36.

Code of conduct

Councillor Alan Whitehead, chairman of GMPTA's transport network committee, said: "We already know from anecdotal evidence that they are popular, but this report really highlights the benefits of the service.

"The services are really helping to tackle local congestion caused by the school run, as well as offering a safe travelling environment for pupils."

Pupils using the buses have to sign up to a code of conduct, use the same seatbelt-equipped seats every day and have regular drivers.

A major expansion of yellow school bus services could be introduced at schools across Greater Manchester over the next four years if the bid to the government's Transport Innovation Fund is successful.

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