The mayor and aldermen (B&W) advises the Moerdijk city council not to comply with the citizens’ initiative, called Help Langeweg Safe to School. According to the municipal council, the initiative is in violation of Article 4 of the Primary Education Act. The parents of a total of 21 children submitted a citizens’ initiative on 17 January, called Help Langeweg Safe to school. The initiative describes the situation of students who attended the former Mariaschool, which has since merged with primary school De Hoeksteen. The parents are concerned about safety. “Previously, the children went to school independently. But now that they are at school in another village, that is no longer feasible,” the citizens’ initiative states. “Even with children from groups 7 and 8, a parent cycles to school, because the route is so dangerous.” The parents state that there are two dangerous bicycle routes. According to them, using public transport is also not an option, because in that case the children arrive at school either 15 minutes late or 45 minutes early. The initiators have therefore asked the municipality of Moerdijk to reimburse the transport costs of a bus for former students from the Mariaschool to primary school De Hoeksteen in Zevenbergsche Hoek, for at least six school years.

Design requirements The Municipal Executive has informed the municipal council in a response that the citizens’ initiative is in violation of Article 4 of the Primary Education Act. If the city council still wants to comply with the proposal, according to the city council, the current student transport regulation must be overhauled. “The legal starting point from the current regulation is that transport to school is not eligible for reimbursement if the distance is no more than six kilometers.” According to the council, primary school De Hoeksteen is less than six kilometers from Langeweg. The council does not see any problems with regard to road safety. According to the municipal council, a traffic expert assessed the school route from Langeweg to Zevenbergsche Hoek on site. “The situation is comparable to other school routes in the municipality, where children have to cycle to other centers to get to school. The road also meets all applicable design requirements.” Investigation The Municipal Executive has therefore advised not to comply with the citizens’ initiative. “It is not necessary from a traffic point of view and it is also impossible to explain that we do not do this for other children in similar situations.” However, the Municipal Executive has indicated that it can still investigate the possibilities for improving road safety for school-going youth. Despite the negative advice from the Municipal Executive, the full municipal council has during the last council agreed to an investigation. This study must map out the (financial) consequences of amending the student transport regulation. There should be more clarity about this before the summer. Read also: Student transport scores more than satisfactory, yet a lot of dissatisfaction Municipality of Bergen is working on new student transport regulation 17


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