Parents anger at bus route axe plan

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ANGRY parents have warned that their children’s safety could be at risk after a bus service through Selston was axed to save money.

From July, children from the Bagthorpe Primary School, near Selston, will be unable take the number 420 bus from their homes because of cuts made by Nottinghamshire County Council.

But worried mums say that cutting the bus route will mean their children will be forced to walk around two miles to school each day along busy main roads.

Mum-of-two Michelle Lane says it would take 45 minutes for her children to walk to school from their home in Selston.

“My children use the bus twice a day, five days a week, along with many other children and it is a big help for parents,” she said.

“The B610 is a very busy road and it would be dangerous for children to walk down there in the morning and it will be even harder for younger children.

“Cutting the bus service will mean more parents have to drive their children to school but this will cause more traffic problems around there, it is already chaotic in the morning.”

“The bus driver is also extremely good with the children and knows how to get them to behave. He has done the job for 10 years and could lose his livelihood.”

Around 40 children from Selston and surrounding areas use the bus route each morning with more than 50 using the return bus service after school.

Parent and school governor Joanna Shepherd added: “Bagthorpe is a tiny village and most of the pupils come from a large catchment area, 60 more cars using that road each morning would create more problems.”

Nottinghamshire county councillor Gail Turner says she is in talks with officers from County Hall in a bid to keep a bus service going for school pupils.

“The people furthest removed from the banking crisis are the ones who suffer, it’s too much to expect small children to walk two miles every day,” she said.

“The road between Selston and Jacksdale is a very busy route and it is a rural area so some of the roads do not have footpaths.

“Parents are happy with putting their children on the bus and then going to work – in these times, parents cannot afford not to be working.”

The county council says it is required to only provide buses for children who live further than three miles away as the Government deems anything less to be a reasonable walking distance – regardless of the route.

Coun Richard Jackson, cabinet member for transport and highways, blamed changes to bus services on Government cuts meaning the county council has to make £87m in savings in 2011/2012.

“We’re intending to save £1m by withdrawing subsidies for bus services with low patronage.

“We’re looking at 290 services we currently subsidise and will have to stop subsidising those used by only a handful of passengers but we will continue to discuss services with bus operators.”