‘Stormy’ talks over school bus routes
Scores of concerned parents at meeting
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.