ALL school buses used by City of York Council could be fitted with seatbelts from next year.

Currently, just over half of the buses provided by the council do not have seatbelts because it is not a legal requirement.

Of 30 school buses which transporting 1,551 children to and from school, 14 of the buses – which together transport 758 children – do not have seat belts.

The council has now said it will look into making it compulsory when contracts go out to tender in early 2013.

Coun Janet Looker, cabinet member for education, children and young people’s services, said: “Every single bus that we commission that takes primary-school children to their schools are all well and truly fitted with seat belts.

“Obviously the issue around the older schoolchildren is slightly more complicated, but it is an issue we have very much in our minds.

“It’s one of the factors that we will be putting into our new contract system.”

York Outer MP Julian Sturdy, pictured, said he would be pushing for all buses to have seatbelts.

He said: “I’m pleased to see the council is taking action on this.

“We need to be looking to make this mandatory for all local authorities across the country for all school transport, not just primary schools.”

Hugh Bayley, MP for York Central, said he was in agreement with Mr Sturdy.

He said: “It’s safer to wear a seatbelt and school buses should be safe. I would support that there should be a change in the law nationally."

In Wales, seat belts will be compulsory on school buses from 2014 under legislation passed by the Welsh assembly.