School buses ‘unacceptable’
Complaints over changes to service
STUDENTS starting the new term were still waiting for travel passes while parents complained about late buses.
Bucks County Council admitted some children are still waiting for their passes despite the term having started.
The council said there has been increasing pressure on home to school transport, but changes, including the new timetable, have saved it millions of pounds. The budget for home to school transport in Buckinghamshire has been reduced from £16million to £11m.
For those without them, bus firm Amey has agreed to accept email authorisation they arrive.
Amey confirmed who had a place on a bus and said passes and finalised timetables would be received in the last week of August.
However, there was a delay with it sending out the final batch.
Parent Tracy Hoekema has triplets getting the 8.14am bus, which is the former 7.59am, from Knotty Green to Royal Grammar School.
She said: “The bus was late by 15 minutes. Two of my boys hadn’t got their passes yet but had letters. The bus drivers let those with passes on first and said he didn’t know about the letter.
“This is unacceptable. Any delays and the children are late for school.
“We pay for a service. No one knows why they have changed the times either.”
for education Mike Appleyard said: “We are charging more and I hated doing it but we needed to reduce our costs.
“It is not clever to send two buses to different villages – it makes sense to have one bus to go to the same villages.
“The big question is, can we continue the journey time?
“If we reduce the number of buses then we will have fewer drivers. Hopefully we can train them and then they will be better drivers.
“We have got to improve our service and keep people informed – we failed to do that this time.”
The county council has a legal duty to transport children to school for free if they live more than three miles away and attend their nearest school, or when it is not safe for them to walk to school, or for special needs children. A MEMORIAL hall is set to be much warmer this winter thanks to a lottery grant.
The hall, in School Lane, Chalfont St Giles, is a popular venue for village groups and Chalfont St Giles Infant School holds its lunches there.
It was given £10,000 from The Big Lottery Fund’s Awards for All scheme, which funded insulation work on Thursday, August 28, as part of an energysaving project.
The hall was built in 1925 as a tribute to men from the village who died in the First World War.
Chairman of the hall’s trustees Tony Hoare says it is a fitting project to complete this year, which is the centenary of the start of the war.
He said: “We were delighted that the Big Lottery Fund was able to support this project in such a substantial way. As with most insulation work there is little to see, but hopefully the hall will continue to be a warm and comfortable venue.”