BRADFORD Council bosses are being asked to approve the scrapping of dedicated school buses to Ilkley Grammar School from Menston and Burley-in-Wharfedale.

If the proposal is approved four dedicated school buses will be removed from September 2024 and eligible pupils - currently 225 - will be provided with annual train passes instead.

The move will also affect families living between Menston and Burley-in-Wharfedale that use the school buses but are not eligible for free travel assistance. These children will have to find alternative ways to travel to school.

Instead of being transported directly to the school grounds by bus pupils will have to walk 350 metres from the train station to Ilkley Grammar School.

A report going before Bradford Council Executive on Tuesday recommends approval of the proposal saying: "The change from buses to trains will enable the Council to promote a more sustainable mode of transport to schools. It will also be a more cost-effective way of providing free travel for pupils in this area."

It adds: "Removal of the dedicated buses will not affect the eligibility criteria in the Home to School Transport Policy for Children of Compulsory School Age or the Post 16 Transport Policy Statement. All pupils currently receiving free travel will continue to do so but in a different way and pupils in the future that become eligible for free travel will be offered a railcard and not a dedicated bus service."

The report reveals the four dedicated school buses cost Bradford Council £160,000 a year. The move to rail travel has the potential to save the council approximately £114,000 per year, with the cost of a train pass £204.40 per child (estimated annual cost is £46,000 based on 225 eligible pupils). There would be an estimated part year saving in 2024-25 of £57,000 if the changes took effect from September 2024.

There are four trains an hour at peak times and the report says Northern Rail have completed a capacity assessment for the potential extra students and have confirmed that they can accommodate the extra demand predicted and are happy to work with Bradford Council on the initiative.

Bradford Council carried out a consultation earlier this year, which concluded on March 31. There were 73 responses with 50 disagreeing with the proposal, seven agreeing and 16 impartial.

The executive meets in City Hall at 10.30am on Tuesday, June 4.