ROSYTH families found out on the final day of the school year that there will be no help with transport costs for pupils travelling to Inverkeithing High in August.

That’s because Fife Council have assessed the walking routes between the towns as ‘available’ despite deep opposition from parents and politicians over safety.

It was back in January that the Press first highlighted that kids would have to cross a busy slip road onto the M90 as a ‘safe route’ to get to and from the high school.

Angry parents stressed that they were left with a choice of risking their child’s safety or more financial burdens due to the cost of transport.

The issue has escalated since King’s Road and Camdean primary schools were moved to Inverkeithing High in the secondary school catchment shake-up.

Speaking on the outcome of the assessment, Rosyth councillor Sam Steele, said: “It’s just ridiculous. They’ve not even used the word ‘safe’, just ‘available’.

“I still cannot get my head around it, it’s just not right.

“It’s all based on a formula, not common sense.

“The criteria does not take into account the perception of kids’ awareness.

“There is also an assumption that each child will be accompanied by an adult, which is just utterly stupid.

“They say they need to treat everyone fairly but these other routes to school have not changed; ours has.”

Under the walked routes to school policy, it is assumed that a child will be accompanied by an adult. An average journey between Rosyth and Inverkeithing takes 45 minutes, meaning parents would be expected to take at least three hours out of the day just to walk their child to high school.

The assessment, which took place on May 30, included 11 Fife Council employees, who concluded that both walking routes via the M90 slip road and Castlandhill Road were suitable.

Footpaths were noted to be in “good condition” and an appropriate width to pass inspection.

While crossing the M90 slip roads, they explained that “the crossing was busy but there were sufficient gaps in the traffic” and that there was “good viability” but the traffic flow was busy so pedestrians should “continuously be aware”.

Accident data was accessed but it was noted that there had been no incidents.

The only concern that was deemed to need action was to cut back the vegetation encroaching onto the footpath at Castleandhill Road.

Fife Council say they will reassess the routes during the winter to make sure they are “still available” and will continue to liaise with Transport Scotland over the matter.

Shelagh McLean, head of service, said: “While we understand that some people will have their own views on what makes a route suitable for walking, we need to make sure that we are judging all routes on the same basis.

“In order to have a fair and equal policy across Fife, we can’t take into account feelings or perceptions about a route, only the specific and individual characteristics of a route.

“That way we make sure that all children in Fife are being treated fairly and equally.

“This route is already a Walked Route which pupils from the Park Road catchment area have been using for a number of years to walk to Inverkeithing High School.

“The route was assessed last year as part of our statutory consultation on school catchments and found to be suitable. It has now been reassessed in line with our new Walked Routes to School policy.

“Neither the previous assessment nor this recent assessment flagged up any issues which would require action from us.”

A spokesperson for Transport Scotland said: “Transport Scotland has been approached by Fife Council in relation to the proposals for King’s Road Primary School, Rosyth.

“We have asked Amey, our South East Unit Operating Company, to review these in relation to safety on the A985 trunk road and will liaise with Fife Council in regard to the outcomes.”

Annabelle Ewing, MSP for Cowdenbeath, said: “This decision really is unfathomable as the route includes the need to cross the slip road onto the M90 from the Admiralty Road roundabout.

“Parents are understandably appealing against this decision and I support them 100 per cent.

“By any normal, objective consideration, this route is unsafe.

“Surely the council should proceed on the basis of the precautionary principle and a recognition that the most important consideration of all is the safety of our young people.”

Dunfermline and West Fife MP Douglas Chapman said: “I do not accept that the council officers have adequately measured the risks involved and it’s time for a rethink even if that means providing free transport outwith Fife Council’s current policy criteria.

“I would urge the council to consider introducing a bus from Rosyth to Inverkeithing High, so they can avoid having to undertake this dangerous route every day on foot.”