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Bus Services: Schools

Volume 474: debated on Wednesday 2 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment she has made of the effect on road safety of the use by local authorities of buses exempt from the requirement to have passenger seatbelts fitted to transport children to school. (197245)

The Department has not made a specific assessment of the implications of carrying children in buses that are not equipped with safety belts. However, a review of the benefit of safety belts in minibuses and coaches recognised technical difficulties associated with fitting adequate seat belts retrospectively to other types of bus.

‘Road Casualties Great Britain 2006’ shows buses to be one of the safest forms of road transport with the rate of killed or seriously injured passengers, on a mile for mile basis, being approximately one-third that for passenger cars.

Local authorities are able to specify that transport providers supply buses with safety belts and should consider if this is appropriate as part of their risk assessment.