Plans under way to replace axed bus service that serves 15, 000 a day in South Yorkshire

A BrightBus.
A BrightBus.
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Plans are underway to replace a vital bus service that transports 15, 000 passengers a day which is being axed in the summer.

The BrightBus fleet has for nearly 20 years transported thousands of children a day to and from school across South Yorkshire and part of Worksop.

A BrightBus pulls up next to a school in Sheffield.

A BrightBus pulls up next to a school in Sheffield.

But managing director Mick Strafford is closing the firm at the end of the academic year in July due to his own "ill health" and has no plans to sell it on to another operator. Along with the loss of service, 90 members of staff also face redundancy.

But South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive, councils and schools are already working with Mr Strafford to look at ways of replacing the lost services.

Ben Gilligan, director of public transport, said: “We are already working closely with schools and local authorities to help minimise the impact of BrightBus’ announced closure. At this early stage, this means looking at current journeys and beginning to identify alternative arrangements for affected services with other commercial bus operators.

“We are committed to keeping parents and pupils informed, and will provide schools with service information as soon as arrangements can be put in place."

BrightBus, which also goes under the name MAS Special Engineering Ltd, was formed in 1998 and operates out of a depot in North Anston.

Their fleet of about 60 brightly green-coloured buses - some of which have been imported from Hong Kong - will be well known to many. The buses serve more than 30 schools across the area.

When the company was at its most successful about two years ago it transported around 2.5 million passengers a year.

BrightBus specialises in providing direct services for children who may have to catch two different buses or more on the usual transport network.

A number of parents have now spoken of their concern that their kids may struggle to get to and from school.

Jodie Myles said: "It is a lifeline to so many kids."

Sarah Swift added: "What about all the children that rely on these buses?"

Mr Strafford, aged 55, of Thorpe Salvin, said the firm is not in financial difficulty and is closing after he had a couple of undisclosed health problems.

He added: "I've been involved in the industry for 30 years and I don't think it always works when another company comes in and takes over."

He added staff would be offered redundancy packages and he would work hard to find them new jobs.