School bus funding axed

HEAD teachers have criticised moves to axe 73 school bus services as part of council cuts.

Up to 2,200 pupils at 47 schools in Derbyshire are to lose their bus subsidies after Derbyshire County Council agreed cuts in its transport budget on Tuesday.

The authority said the savings of almost £1 million were part of plans to save £3.12 million from its public transport budget over the next two years.

School bus services will be stopped by next April for children who do not qualify for free transport because they live two or three miles from school or because they do not go to their area school.

The council is also reducing the subsidy for teenager students’ b_line2 card from 50 per cent to 33 per cent on buses and trains from August.

David Baker, head teacher at Anthony Gell School in Wirksworth, said he had concerns.

He added: “The b_line cuts could affect a good number of our students who travel on service buses.

“It is obvious to us that parents are struggling for money at the moment so given the rise in petrol prices I’m certain this will put more pressure on families.”

Dr Ramsey Tetlow, head teacher Highfields School in Matlock said he also had serious fears about the cuts to the school bus service.

He added he was set to put his concerns in writing to Derbyshire County Council.

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