Children told to walk as bus places are lost

PUBLISHED: 06:03 23 March 2006 | UPDATED: 09:02 24 May 2010

PARENTS are angry that their children could be facing a walk of nearly three miles to school when a free bus service is lost. North Somerset Council has told parents who live in Locking, and whose children are due to start at Worle School in September, th

PARENTS are angry that their children could be facing a walk of nearly three miles to school when a free bus service is lost.North Somerset Council has told parents who live in Locking, and whose children are due to start at Worle School in September, that there will be no free places for them on a school bus.Until now, Locking children have been entitled to a free bus place to get them to and from Worle School in Redwing Drive, Mead Vale.Students who live in Locking and currently go to Worle will still get their free places when the new rule comes into force.Ann Carter's 11-year-old daughter Victoria will not get a place when she starts at Worle later this year but her 16-year-old sister, Rebecca, currently travels to school for free.Mrs Carter said: "A group of parents walked the route our children will have to take and I am really concerned. "There is an underpass my daughter will have to walk through and it's filled with empty bottles. We just can't let this happen."Parents say they plan to appeal against the council's decision and a petition has been launched. They also hope a police report will be written on the safety of the route.Parish councillor Noel Walter is campaigning against the loss of the free school bus service. It will affect seven Locking children from September.He said: "I don't know how much the free bus service for OAPs is costing but I'm sure there would be seven people on pensions, including myself, who would give up the pass so the kids could get to school for free."A council spokesman said: "Free transport was available in the past because it was seen as a hazardous route between Locking and Worle. Cycle passes, pavements, and an underpass have since been put in to make it safer and it is no longer seen as a hazardous route. "The council doesn't have to provide free transport if the distance from home to school is less than three miles."In view of the concerns expressed by parents we are going to walk the route again to check everything is okay."Some children will qualify because parts of Locking are over three miles from the school and, if there are any spare places on the bus, parents can buy them.

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