Delabole petition passes 1,500 as campaigners protest County Hall’s “walk to school” ruling
4th July 2018
By Graham Smith
More than 1,500 people have signed an online petitioncalling on Cornwall Council to reverse its decision to make children walk from Delabole to Camelford , along a dangerous, unlit country lane, to get to school.
The issue has haunted residents in Delabole for several years, as County Hall officials write to parents at this time of year to advise them that they will not be eligible for school transport in September. Previously, each year, the council has relented. This year about 21 children will be affected if officials in Truro get their way.
The council says it is simply following national policy and statutory requirements. The route is fractionally less three miles, and has few reported accidents. Cornwall Reports has however walked the route and can confirm that it is little used by pedestrians. Motorists can lawfully travel at up to 60 mph. There are no pavements and several “blind” bends.
“The route between Delabole and Sir James Smith’s Community School was assessed in June 2017 and again in May 2018 as suitable for pedestrian use, in accordance with the council’s route assessment policy,” said a statement.
County Hall and Delabole have already been through their annual “appeal tussle” as the local community seeks to get the decision reversed before September.
An earlier generation of children trek from Delabole to Camelford along the lane which Cornwall Council says is suitable for pedestrians
The online petition says: “The children will have to leave home at 7.00 to get to school for their 8.20 start, they will not be ‘school ready’, they may well be wet, cold, or at the other end of the spectrum, suffering from heat exhaustion.
“Concessionary passes have been offered at a cost of over £5000 p.a. for the group, but this will not guarantee them an place on the bus!!
“Parents have already had their appeals turned down by Cornwall Council, yet an Independent assessment, carried out at the expense of the Parish Council, has deemed the route unfit.
“Please sign this petition to get Cornwall Council, to overturn their stupid decision.”