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Goodbye yellow bus road

AFTER NEARLY five years on the road, the wheels have finally come off the bright yellow Book Bus, the touring vehicle that has brought authors and books to schools, especially in rural areas.

The Scottish Arts Council has withdrawn annual funding of up to pound;25,000, despite the National Year of Reading, which ends in September. Jenny Brown, director of the council's literature department, said: "It was a brilliant project but it was difficult to sustain on a long-term basis. It was very expensive because of the way it was funded with a driver, an author and an administrator."

Janet Smyth, the bus's manager, says it is now up for sale. She will have fond memories of her travels. "The farther afield you go, the more fantastic the response. The whole community treats you like a pop star."

Jackie Story, head of Sanday school, Orkney, doubted if authors would be able to give up time to travel to schools like hers. "It would be a huge commitment to spend three days away from home just to visit a school for a day."

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