THE COUNCIL are planning to add an extra 50cm on to a pavement to create a safer walking route for school children.

The move will mean hundreds of children may not be given free bus travel to school.

As reported in the Evening Times, SNP Councillors and parents in Maryhill had raised concerns about the section of pavement near the underpass at Sandbank Street.

Requirements mean all routes must be at least 1m in width, but this section was found to be only 96cm when councillors Franny Scally and John Letford measured the area.

The review of school bus passes are expected to save the local authority around £600,000 and will be implemented at the start of the next school term on August 15.

Now the local authority plan to extend the section of pavement so it is 1.5m wide, meaning it can be used by children travelling to school.

A council spokeswoman said the plans will be completed for children going back to school, and added: "The works to widen the pavement at the pinch point on Maryhill Road will start at the end of this month and completed by 7 August in plenty of time for the start of the new school term."

Opposition councillors have attacked the plans, saying it will waste valuable council money and resources.

They also say the flooding problems on the road will not be resolved.

Councillor John Letford said: "The fact that the Council are now going to widen the pavement is welcome.

"But that fig leaf doesn’t hide the truth, that too many of our pupils are now being faced with lengthy and risky walks to and from school.

"The penny-pinching of removing bus services has now seen additional construction costs and disruption to drivers.

"How many more examples will there be over the coming weeks – will the Council put right every problem that opposition councillors and the Evening Times highlight?

"The so called saving will quickly vanish if this is the case.

"It may be cheaper, safer and more practical to re-instate bus transport to school."

SNP MP Bob Doris has also contacted the local authority about concerns on Auchinairn Road.

He said: "I was shocked at just how narrow the pavement is at Auchinairn Road, with the kerb forming part of the 'safe' 1m."

He said street furniture and bus stops reduce the pavement to just 85cm in some places, including the most congested area.

He added: "I have written to the education department with this information and I am hopeful they will reconsider their decision to axe these school buses.

"Myself and the council may disagree with the Councils plans city wide, However I am hopeful we can agree Auchinairn Road is unsafe and therefore reinstate the Milton community's school bus service."

A council spokeswoman said a review of all the routes has now taken place and the savings made will be used to "retain the number of teachers in our schools."