Doncaster school bus service set for axe

Parents and pupils of Macauley School are unhappy that there are plans to scrap the school bus service from Bentley. Picture: Andrew Roe
Parents and pupils of Macauley School are unhappy that there are plans to scrap the school bus service from Bentley. Picture: Andrew Roe
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Parents have hit out after plans to axe a popular free bus service to one of Doncaster’s biggest secondary schools were unveiled.

A petition has been launched after McAuley Catholic High School informed parents that the 586 morning bus service serving Campsall, Norton, Askern, Arksey and Bentley is being withdrawn and will not operate in September.

I don’t think it’s good for children’s safety to be expected to hang around the interchange

Nicola Brown

A letter sent to parents stated: “This is as a result of the local authority no longer being obliged to provide free transport for any students.”

Staff from the school were told by South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive and Doncaster Council the route would not operate as a paid for service either.

Parents have hit out at the decision saying the move could result in children having to catch two buses in a morning or parents having to change their working hours.

Nicola Brown whose 13-year-old daughter Mary Grace Brown catches the bus from Bentley launched the petition and already has more than 200 signatures.

She said: “If this does go ahead I will have to look at changing my working hours because the alternative is making my daughter catch a bus into town and having to hang around the interchange and then get another bus to school.

“I don’t think it’s good for children’s safety to be expected to hang around the interchange at that time in a morning.

“This would also have a detrimental effect on the environment as more parents will use cars to take children to school.”

The letter sent to parents said: “As a school, we have no control over the bus services organised by SYPTE and DMBC.

“We are very disappointed that this service is being withdrawn and the additional change of bus that students will need to make as a result.”

A spokesperson for South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive said: “SYPTE procures school buses on behalf of the local education authorities to meet their statutory requirements for home-to-school transport for entitled students, where no alternative service exists.

“We fully understand the frustration of parents, but in the current financial climate we are not able to subsidise the payment of service 586 after this school year.

“We are assisting McAuley Catholic High School with planning alternative travel arrangements, with the majority of pupils able to use other bus services on the network via Frenchgate Interchange.”