Mum's stance against two-hour bus ordeal
A MOTHER has vowed to keep her child at home until the council performs a U-turn on changes to the school bus service that condemn him to spend hours travelling each day. Sally Griffiths, of Summerlands Road in Weston, is furious that her 12-year-old son
A MOTHER has vowed to keep her child at home until the council performs a U-turn on changes to the school bus service that condemn him to spend hours travelling each day.Sally Griffiths, of Summerlands Road in Weston, is furious that her 12-year-old son Karl will be forced to spend two hours travelling just two miles to and from Westhaven School every day.The transport shake-up by North Somerset Council means Karl would have to get up an hour earlier than normal at 6.30am and would not get home from school until after 4pm.Before the change, Karl was picked up at 8.20am and dropped off at about 3.15pm.The new arrangements, which started on Monday, mean boarding the bus at 7.30am and spending an hour travelling around Weston, making 20 more stops before getting to school. The arduous journey would then be repeated in the afternoon.Mrs Griffiths and her husband Mark, both aged 38, are convinced the punishing new hours will harm Karl's education and welfare.They have pledged to keep Karl at home until the council changes the route.Mrs Griffiths said: "These extra two hours mean Karl will be too tired to focus and unable to concentrate through the school day."He has extra lessons after school in music and reading and these will have to stop."This is going to harm his education and general welfare. A journey of 10 minutes is fine but a journey of one hour each way is not."Karl, like many children, needs to know his routine and gets upset when it changes. Travelling for an hour and then spending a whole day in school is asking too much."When I told the council officers about keeping Karl at home, they said they would inform the educational welfare officer. I have already been in touch with welfare officers and our MP."This is too important an issue to ignore and something has to be done for Karl."North Somerset Council says it has reorganised its bus routes for special needs children as part of an efficiency drive.It says the number of buses has been maintained at five but it has saved money by organising the service 'more efficiently and effectively'.A council spokesman said: "After the reorganisation of routes, the majority of students have far shorter journey times. Unfortunately, some have longer to travel to school."We sympathise with Karl's situation. Where he was one of the final pickups on the previous routes, which started in Clevedon, he is now the first on the new route which serves the South Weston area."We are unable to supply a later pickup time for him.