Mum’s bus fight as school service axed

Pupils (from left) Kaia Hornby,  Georgia Randles, Sophie Tsang and Amy Charnley in Heeley Road, St Annes.

Pupils (from left) Kaia Hornby, Georgia Randles, Sophie Tsang and Amy Charnley in Heeley Road, St Annes.

2
Have your say

AN ANGRY parent has launched a petition to resume a “vital” bus service, used by her children to get to school, after it was scrapped by County Hall.

Jane Randles, from St Annes, was left shocked when her son James, 15, and daughter Georgia, 13, were left stranded at a bus stop, after the 597 service from Spring Gardens to Lytham St Annes Performing Arts and Technology College, was 
cancelled.

The stunned mum, of Capstan Close, has now written to Fylde MP Mark Menzies.

She said: “My children were left stranded at the bus stop. I couldn’t believe it. No-one notified us it had stopped, and you can imagine my reaction when I found out my children were late for their first day back.

“It’s a vital service.

“The weather is getting worse, the nights are getting darker and children need to get home safely.

“I wrote to Mark Menzies MP and he is willing to complain on my behalf and because of that I have started a petition to resume the service.”

The children were left stranded at the stop on Heeley Road, St Annes, on September 6.

Lancashire County Council said the students who used the service regularly were notified by letter in May about the changes, but this did not account for other passengers who paid daily.

County transport officer Yvonne Artingstoll said: “A specific financial criteria is applied to all bus services, where at least 40 per cent of the cost of the contract has to be met through fare revenue.

“Fare revenue on Service 597 met only 34 per cent of the contract cost, with the six children who used the service daily needing a subsidy of £1,045 per student.”

Children must now catch a bus to St Annes Square, and change to another service to reach school.

Lytham St Annes High School headteacher Phil Wood said: “I was very sorry to hear what happened on the first day of term, with students left at the stop.

“The council only notified us of there being six students who used the service and did not take into account children who used it on the odd occasion. If there is a strong feeling from parents about the issue, then I’m sure it can be looked at again.”

Click here to register with The Gazette website to enable you to leave your comments and reaction to stories.