Parents fight to stop 'dangerous' walk

29 October 2018, 14:23 | Updated: 29 October 2018, 14:29

Parents invited the media to experience the walk Cornwall Council say is safe for their children to complete twice a day.

Parents invited the media to experience the walk Cornwall Council say is safe for their children to complete twice a day. 

The route from the edge of Delabole village in North Cornwall to Sir James Smith's school in Camelford is 2.5 miles long. 

National guidance allows for free school transport if a child lives more than three miles away from a school they are attending. 

Parents have long argued it's not the distance but the fact the route they have to walk is unsafe and 'dangerous'. 

Something Cornwall Council disagrees on two occassions following assessments by Cormac ltd. We started off in the pitch black at 7am on the dot - unable to see the person beside us even with a high-visability jacket. I

n the first few hundred yards the group of parents had to makew ay for a trio of cars and climb the hedges to avoid being hit. 

An oil tanker was next scrapping both sides of the road - luckily our group met him in one of the wider sections. 

The road has a 60 mph limit on it and a van driver taking full advantage of this had to break sharpely and only just avoided some members. No apology as he raced up the lane. 

We also met a tractor, and more cars in the first 30 minutes in the dark. 

When it got lighter we approached the outskirts of Camelford where vehicles did slow down as they approached us (see video). 

For the final 500 yards there was even a pavement. 

It took these adults just over the hour mark to complete the journey. 

Their children are expected to register at 08:20am. 

Many think it will take accident where a child is killed or seriously injured before the council will change their mind.


Cornwall Council - Full statement: 

The council takes around 14,000 children to and from school each day, which costs about £15m a year. 

We follow national guidelines, which includes providing free transport to children over eight who live more than three miles from their school. 

In the case of the youngsters in Delabole who live closer than this to their school, the decision was reviewed twice and each time the same conclusion was reached. 

We appreciate this wasn’t what parents wanted to hear. 

The decision has now been referred to the local government ombudsman and we await the outcome of the review. 

Parents can pay for their children to travel on school transport if they don't qualify for free travel, and families involved in the Delabole case have taken up this option.