Long ride to and from school

Mount Hawthorn Primary School students, from left, Michelle Miotti (12, Year 7), Ashleigh Joel (12, Year 7), Will Wiggett (11, Year 6) and Sophie Styles (11, Year 6) [NAMES OK]
Mount Hawthorn Primary School students, from left, Michelle Miotti (12, Year 7), Ashleigh Joel (12, Year 7), Will Wiggett (11, Year 6) and Sophie Styles (11, Year 6) [NAMES OK]

Students at Mt Hawthorn Primary School can choose to attend either Mt Lawley or Churchlands senior high schools, with about 113 local City of Vincent students enrolled at Churchlands SHS this year.

This is expected to increase next year when Year 7 students start attending high school.

Mt Hawthorn PS parents and citizens council has highlighted to the State Government and City of Vincent their concerns about transit time to the two public high schools, with a survey finding most affected families wanted better options.

Parent Fiona Miotti said the time spent in transit was not proportional to the distance between the suburb and Churchlands SHS, which is about 7-8 kilometres, while the distance to Mt Lawley SHS is about 5km.

‘With Churchlands SHS finishing at 3.35pm and most out of school commitments commencing from 4.30pm or 5pm there is little time available to utilise the current bus system,’ she said.

But she said parents and the community wanted to encourage young people to use public transport use. Ms Miotti said the best result would be the addition of a one-trip route or a dedicated school bus.

Department of Education statewide planning and delivery director Lindsay Hale said principals of both Mt Lawley and Churchlands high schools had raised their concerns with Transperth. But he said it was ultimately up to the public transport authority to decide bus routes.

Transperth spokeswoman Claire Krol said students living in Mt Hawthorn already had good public transport options to Churchlands, including routes 400 and 403 and school special 733, which could take about 30 minutes.

She said several routes were available to Mt Lawley SHS and it would be ‘economically and socially irresponsible’ for Transperth to solely focus on meeting the needs of a select group of transport users.

But Ms Krol said Transperth was reviewing school routes and would acquire additional buses to ensure services catered for the expected increase in demand when Year 7 students attend high school.

‘We acknowledge that some parents may be concerned with their child transferring services, however it is a worldwide characteristic of public transport services that some passengers will be required to transfer between services in order to reach their destination,’ she said.

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