The school district’s decision to cut out Aberdeen Road bus stops leaves 50 children in harm’s way, according to parents.
Nichoel Crawford says that’s how many children use the Aberdeen Road bus stops, which were cut from the school bus schedule for the upcoming school year.
“We feel with the current road conditions, this is a recipe for disaster,” Crawford told Coldstream council Monday in hopes some safety concerns could be addressed on the road.
The Vernon School District re-design includes discontinuation of two stops: at Aberdeen Road and Venables Drive, and Aberdeen before the railroad crossing. It’s one of several discontinued stops throughout the district.
“My guess is it’s for (cost) savings,” said Coun. Gyula Kiss. “But it’s not saving lives.”
Local parents would like to see some safety improvements made to the road.
“Now is the time to make it safer for our children,” said Crawford, who also alerted council to provincial funding available to expand cycling trails.
But the district is already eager to see safety improvements along Aberdeen, especially when it comes to speed.
A speed reader board has been erected on the road for several weeks to make drivers aware of their speeds.
There are also plans to increase RCMP patrols along this and other roads immediately.
Coldstream will also be looking into posting some signage, painting crosswalks and adding lighting. Those options will be evaluated by staff and brought back for a future meeting, where parents will be invited.
“I also think we need to develop a long-term plan,” said Coun. Maria Besso, as widening the existing bike lanes would be costly.
Meanwhile, Coun. Peter McClean says council needs to investigate these bus stop changes.
“I think the first thing we need to do as a council is find out the rationale and reasoning for this bus change,” said McClean. “We are putting a whole bunch of kids at risk.”