CLOSING two Wee County primary schools will come at huge cost for many households, according to worried parents.

The future of the primary schools in Coalsnaughton and Fishcross remain under threat as the local authority reviews options to close both to save money.

However, as a result, families are facing the prospect of forking out hundreds every week to send their kids to schools in Sauchie and in the Hillfoots.

Indeed, transport has been highlighted as a huge concern for parents, with some pupils likely having to walk more than a mile to get to their new primary schools – Craigbank and Tillicoultry.

Cheryl Hughes, of Coalsnaughton Parent Council, detailed the possible financial implications for families, should the dreaded closure plan go ahead.

She told the Advertiser: "The transport is a massive concern for us. For me, with three kids, it will cost £18 a day on the bus to take them to school and then back again to get them.

"We're 1.9 miles away from Tillicoultry so the kids won't qualify for free travel as the council are changing that as well."

Cheryl also raised safety concerns regarding possible routes from Coalsnaughton to Tillicoultry, and queried whether the pavements were even wide enough for groups of children to travel on.

She added: "The biggest issue is there are no crossings or lollipop people on the routes. Even with parents, it is dangerous to go along some of the roads with trucks passing at high speeds.

"It is also the logistics of it for some families. You could have a situation where a family with three kids could have one at nursery in Coalsnaughton, one in primary at Tillicoultry and one at secondary at Alva Academy.

"A friend of mine has already looked at cutting her hours at work because she'll need to change arrangements and pick up her kids. That could cost her £700 a month. It's crazy."

Parents in Fishcross have also expressed similar concerns, addressing the two main routes their children would have to take when walking to Craigbank Primary School, where they will likely be moved to.

The two possible routes are along Alloa Road or via the public footpath and cycle lane.

Kari Smith, of Fishcross Parent Council, said: "It is probably one of the major concerns. With Alloa Road, many parents feel this is a very busy and dangerous road. It is one of the main routes for traffic from Tillicoultry into Alloa and is extremely busy at all times.

"Some of the route does not have a footpath on both sides of the road meaning there is a need to cross without any assistance.

"Some families would have to cross the road twice. There aren't very many lights, crossings or lollipop men or women.

"There is also often a speed camera van outside the housing estate which raises concerns that cars are travelling too fast along the road."

While less than suitable in the eyes of parents, it is probably still the best of the two, with the 'Wagon Road' a poorly lit footpath.

Kari continued: "This is an extremely dangerous road to cross for both adults and children. When they have crossed the road the access on to the railway is laden with puddles.

"The public footpath is not light and children will need to allow themselves at least 25 minutes to get to school. During the winter months it would still be dark and could be intimidating for them.

"As parents we are constantly reminded to teach our children about 'stranger danger' but this route is very unsafe away from the public eye. Anything could happen to the kids walking on their own."

The possibility of walking along paths also throws up another issue as the council detailed a proposal to cut winter maintenance on pathways in the Wee County to save money.

This means there is the chance children would be walking along poorly lit pathways which are icy during winter.

Kari said: "If they [council] are going to make this a school road, how can they expect kids to walk along it when it is covered in snow and ice and that is before they cut maintenance to it?"

The Fishcross mum added that she thinks there isn't a single family in Fishcross who will qualify for the free transport as they will fall beneath the statutory two miles for under eights and three miles for over eights.

Anyone wishing to air their views on the closures can do so by attending budget engagement drop-in sessions at Alva Academy tonight (Wednesday) or Alloa Town Hall tomorrow night between 6pm and 9pm.

The public consultation is ongoing and Clackmannanshire Council has reiterated its stance that there has been no decision made yet.

A spokesperson said: "No decisions have yet been taken. These are officer options which will be part of budget engagement, which will then inform the decision making of councillors at the budget meeting.

"If these options, which are part of a school estates review, are agreed, they will then move to a statutory consultation process before any final decisions are taken."