‘Stormy’ talks over school bus routes

Scores of con­cerned par­ents at meet­ing

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS - By Laura Mowat laura.mowat@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

A RECORD num­ber of par­ents went to a ‘stormy’ meet­ing about a new bus ser­vice.

The meet­ing was to dis­cuss a new bus scheme which will com­bine ser­vices be­tween Dr Chal­loner’s Gram­mar School, in Che­sham Road, Amer­sham, and Dr Chal­loner’s High School, in Lit­tle Chal­font.

It was held on Thurs­day last week at the gram­mar school and in­volved Bucks County coun­cil­lors, teach­ers and par­ents.

Head­teacher Dr Mark Fen­ton said: “It was a real event – there were 160 par­ents.

“The big­gest attendance we have had for a meet­ing like that be­fore was 20. It was ex­tremely stormy. I can’t re­mem­ber a meet­ing like that, there was so much anger on dis­play for so long. It shows that par­ents feel very strongly about this is­sue.”

At the meet­ing it was de­cided that a small work­ing group should be set up be­tween par­ents and staff to look at bus trans­port is­sues.

Dr Fen­ton added: “We still do not have any new pro­pos­als, it was all so vague.”

Bucks County Coun­cil pro­posed to com­bine bus routes be­tween Dr Chal­loner’s High School and Dr Chal­loner’s Gram­mar school to keep costs down. How­ever, par­ents are con­cerned this will lead to longer jour­ney times.

Dr Fen­ton said: “I thought the coun­cil would have come up with a pro­posal that we could con­sult for the meet­ing, but there was no new pro­posal for peo­ple to be con­sulted about.”

Speak­ing to the pa­per on Septem­ber 8, cab­i­net mem­ber for ed­u­ca­tion and skills, Mike Ap­p­le­yard, said: “It is not clever to send two buses to dif­fer­ent vil­lages, it makes sense Dr Mark Fen­ton, head­teacher of Dr Chal­loner’s Gram­mar School in Amer­sham to have one bus to go to the same vil­lages.

“The big prob­lem 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 keep them and they will be bet­ter driv­ers. We have got to im­prove our ser­vice and keep peo­ple in­formed, we failed to do that this time.”

The bud­get for home to school trans­port in the county has been cut from £16mil­lion to £11m. The new bus routes have not been rolled out yet.

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