Wheels in motion for Tansley pupils

NDET 6-11-12 MC 4'Highfield School pupils board their new school bus in Tansley
NDET 6-11-12 MC 4'Highfield School pupils board their new school bus in Tansley

Parents have rallied together to ensure their children have safe passage to school and back in light of council cut backs.

Tansley residents were outraged to learn just three weeks in advance that Derbyshire County Council was ceasing the bus to Highfields School as the village fell just within the catchment area of three miles.

With only one available public bus travelling through the village at 7.40am, which only went as far as the County Offices in Matlock, the parents decided to approach local bus company G and J Holmes to arrange a more suitable service.

Mum Sue Neville, one of a committee of Tansley parents working to resolve the situation, said: “There didn’t seem to be a practical solution on offer.

“It was a case of panicking really, because we only had about three weeks to try and get something sorted.

“I didn’t really want them walking three miles to school and we had no other options.”

The bus company has agreed to pick up children from Tansley at a more sensible time of 8.10am and take them to both the lower and upper sites of the school.

Cllr Mike Longden, the council’s cabinet member for education, said: “We negotiated with a bus company which agreed to run a commercial service for passengers from Wessington and Tansley to Highfields.

“But in October, the firm indicated it may have to stop the service because there weren’t enough passengers using it. Following further negotiations with us, the firm agreed to extend the trial and review the situation at Christmas. But the future of the service depends on enough passengers using it.

“The school made parents aware of the decision to stop subsidising a bus service from Tansley more than a year ago.

“Children who are entitled to help with school transport still receive it.”¶