Parents’ safety fear over bus cuts plan

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Furious parents plan to march against plans to cut their children’s bus service – which will leave youngsters with little alternative but to walk to school.

Notice was received just last week that the school bus service between Tansley and Highfields School was to cease from the start of the winter term, November 5.

In reaction to the decision made by Derbyshire County Council in a bid to save cash, parents have decided to march the three miles to school on mass with their children on the first day back.

Tansley mum Rachel Kirk, whose 12–year–old son attends Highfields, said the removal of the bus service would cause her real problems.

“I don’t drive,” she explained. “My partner gets up for work at 3.30am and if I’m at work I won’t be back until 5.30pm.

“My son is going to be stranded.”

Only two public buses go through the village in the morning – one of which would be too full to take on any children, the other would depart at 7.40am.

Along with other parents, Rachel is worried about the safety of children walking to school.

“The traffic in the morning is terrible with lorries going to Palin’s and there will be a high volume of children all going to school at the same time,” she said.

In a bid to fight for their children’s right to a safe journey to and from school, parents have set up a committee to lobby the council into reinstating a service to the village.

They plan to write to both Cllr Mike Longden, the cabinet member for education, and Dales MP Patrick McLoughlin.

Vicki Raynes, chairman of the parish council, stated Tansley was the only settlement that had been left with no provision for youngsters to get to school.

A spokesman for Derbyshire County Council said: “We can’t continue paying for transport for children who aren’t entitled to it because they live less than three miles from school.

“Around 90,000 pupils in Derbyshire in similar circumstances don’t get help in meeting the costs of getting to and from school and we couldn’t justify continuing to spend £1million on providing transport for 2,200 students across the county – less than two per cent of the school population – who aren’t entitled to subsidised travel under current legislation.

“Children who are entitled will continue to have transport to and from school provided.”