New bus routes are la­belled lu­di­crous

Three-mile school run now takes 45 min­utes

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS - By Jo-Anne Rowney jo-anne.rowney@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

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.”

Home to

school trans­port has been ab­so­lutely

mucked up”

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.

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