New bus routes are labelled ludicrous
Three-mile school run now takes 45 minutes
CHANGES to school bus routes were described as ‘ludicrous’ by a councillor whose child’s journey has been affected.
Beaconsfield Town councillor Jacquetta Lowen-Cooper said she had been a ‘victim’ of the changes.
Bucks County Council, prompted by budget cuts, amended the routes from September, but parents say they are now longer and buses do not arrive on time.
Many have set up their own buses to ensure their child takes a quicker and shorter route, or the original one.
Ms Lowen-Cooper said at Beaconsfeld Town Council meeting on Thursday last week: “Home to school transport has been absolutely mucked up.”
She said it costs £289 to travel three miles to school, which is now a 45-minute journey. It is seven minutes by car.
The topic was prompted by the county update by county councillor Peter Hardy, who said there had been issues.
“It’s ludicrous,” Ms Lowen-Cooper added. “I think we should support Councillor Hardy in raising the issue.”
Ms Lowen-Cooper said she twice rang the council to ask for help but was on hold for 45 minutes.
She said: “I asked Councillor Busby who said the phones had been taken off the hook, they didn’t answer any calls. “That’s unsatisfactory.” A Twitter account was set up shortly after the changes to publicise the issues.
A bus from the villages to Beaconsfield High School took a short route from Penn Road, but the new route diverts before it reaches the school, stopping at Seer Green, Chalfonts, and going across to the A413 and Gerrards Cross before reaching the school.
Beaconsfield High School headteacher Annette France said: “The school held a meeting with council officers and parents. The meeting went well and the school is now seeing how it improves the situation.”
school transport has been absolutely
A petition by Dr Challoner’s Grammar School and Dr Challoner’s High School has also been compiled, objecting to the changes, after complaints about combining the bus service for both schools.
Bucks County Council spokeswoman Suzanna Ghosh said: “In some areas and on some routes there have been teething problems, whilst elsewhere parents have been unhappy with the new timetables even where these services have run to time.
“We have made necessary adjustments and continue to monitor the services and any concerns expressed by parents or schools.”
Parents can contact the council about the matter on 01296 387 439 or by emailing ameytrans@ buckscc.gov.uk.