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Bonkers Blog February 2014

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12 February (Part 2) - Another consultation exercise

ConsulationAt age 10, school was two miles away and I rode there on a bike. Then we moved house and it became three miles in a straight line but a good ten on two buses. That was because the airfield at Farnborough got in the way. I was given a free bus pass as you might expect.

I wonder how Bexley council would react if faced with that one. Very badly no doubt.

As far as I know the question of free bus passes for school children doesn’t arise any more because they all get one but the question of practical distances versus ‘crow files’ distances hasn’t gone away. Bexley council has decided to change the rules and dress it up as a much better system. I don’t think it could have worked for my school in Hampshire but perhaps urban areas are less likely to cause anomalies over short distances. As soon as a public transport has to be drawn into the equation I’d guess almost anything can happen.

To make it easier for parents Bexley plans to measure home to school distances as if every child was a crow. It’s more accurate they say. Does that add up? Wouldn't it be just as fair and more accurate to use some sort of sat-nav style mapping application?

If the educational system in the borough has done its job everyone will know that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line which is pretty good proof that anything else will be longer.

I imagine there will be winners and losers in this exercise but since extensive advertising of the Budget consultation resulted in only 663 responses I suspect this rather more low key one needs all the publicity it can get. Parents take note.

Click the image for the council’s two page PDF.


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