Parents face 'nightmare' after discovering school bus used by their children is under threat - The Leamington Observer

Parents face 'nightmare' after discovering school bus used by their children is under threat

Leamington Editorial 5th Apr, 2021   0

PARENTS say they are faced with an ‘absolute nightmare’ after discovering the school bus service used by their children is again under threat.

The 529 service runs from the Woodloes to Aylesford School and was faced with closure last year.

The council say it was extended for a year using Covid funding designed to keep pupils off public transport during the pandemic.

But the funding will run out in September and the service is then due to be axed. It is believed to affect around 40 children.

A petition started by Eleanor Griffin has so far received some 160 signatures.

She said: “These pupils have had enough disruption to their educational and social lives over the last 12 months.

“To hear the bus service that will carry a group of 11 year olds across town is going to be cancelled is horrifying.

“The suggested alternative will see these youngsters catching the bus at 7.30 am and not returning home until 4.30pm. That’s with changing buses in the town centre too.

“Also we can envisage a lot of parents using their cars to take their children safely to school, adding to the already chaotic morning Warwick traffic.

“As you can imagine, for parents this is an absolute nightmare.

“We pay towards this service, we desperately need it.”

Her calls were echoed by Warwick and Leamington MP Matt Western who last year campaigned for the service to continue.

He told the Observer: “Once again I have been contacted by parents who have been told the vital bus service which runs from Woodloes to Aylesford School is being withdrawn in September.

“If scrapped it could leave nearly 40 students without a valued and safe bus journey home.

“It beggars belief we find ourselves in the same position but determined local parents have started a petition to save the service and they have my full support.

“We need a long-term solution for future students of Aylesford School.”

Warwickshire County Council said: “All customers are advised to use the Stagecoach service or walk or cycle if they wish to do so.

“The Stagecoach service from the Woodloes area is service 1. At the moment, students would need to change at Warwick bus station onto another service to finish the journey to the school. We are in discussions with Stagecoach to see if they would be willing to extend service 1 at peak times down to Chase Meadow so that students can stay on the bus and remove the need to change services.

“Unfortunately, due to Covid, bus timetables are constantly changing to accommodate the various changes so it is difficult to give anyone timings for September at this stage.”


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