THE chance for a community to learn more about Hampshire County Council’s (HCC) proposed walk to school route has been organised.

The proposal, which is for a walking route between Hook and Robert May’s School in Odiham, was first proposed, to some criticism from the community, last year.

The plans, which are currently under consideration, will be put on display in the hall at Hook Junior School on Monday, 11 February from 6pm, before a presentation at 6.30pm.

Officers from the county council’s children’s services team will also be available on the day to answer questions about the proposals.

A drop-in session is planned to take place on March 26 between 4pm and 7pm at the Hook Community Centre, in Ravenscroft, to give the community another chance to view the plans and ask further questions of officers.

HCC’s plan is to use an existing Rights of Way footpath in Bartley Heath and Holt Lane, making use of the footbridge north of junction 5 of the M3 to cross over the motorway, using a crossing point on the A287.

Legally, transport must be provided for children over eight-years-old who live three miles or more from their nearest school or, for shorter distances, if there is no safe walking route to the school.

It costs the county council £250,000 to provide transport for pupils in Hook who live under three miles away from the school, due to the lack of a safe and suitable walking route from Hook to Robert May’s School.

The council is considering making the one-off investment in the local footpath network in order to reduce the pressure on children’s services funding so that services for the county’s most vulnerable children can be maintained.

Currently, HCC is evaluating the feasibility of a walking route, and the use of the intended crossing point on the A287 is being assessed at the appropriate times of day to see if the crossing point could meet guidelines for safe walking routes to school.

There is also work being undertaken to consider improvements that would aid the crossing point.

Parents and carers were unhappy with proposed cuts to buses and other transport to the school, forming the Positive Action Group Against Transport Cuts in July 2018.