YOUNG children who attend primary school near Selston could be facing long walks to school on dangerous roads when their bus service is scrapped at the end of the year.
Letters were sent out last week to parents of children at Bagthorpe Primary School, informing them that its school bus service from Selston will stop from the end of the school year following Nottinghamshire County Council’s decision to cut its funding.
Headteacher David Walton said the school’s ‘main concern’ is to find a transport solution for the families affected as soon as possible, with around 50 children catching the bus regularly.
“The families that we feel for particularly are those who live nearly three miles from their catchment school and are not in the position of having their own transport,” he said.
“It really is very difficult for them.”
Mr Walton said that though it comes as a ‘real blow’, the cut was not totally unexpected given the economic climate.
He added: “We are consulting with parents and have put suggestions forward.
“We will listen to all suggestions that people put forward and some of these we can explore further.
“We hope that we can find a positive way forward.”
Solutions proposed by the school include organising a private bus themselves or setting up a car sharing scheme, but financial, legal and environmental implications need taking into account.
Selston county councillor Gail Turner has been working closely with the school to address the situation.
She said she was ‘very, very disappointed’ with the county council’s decision to cut the service.
“Nothing is immune from these cuts unfortunately and it’s really awful for some parents because they live quite a long way away from the school,” she said.
“I am worried as well because where the school is, in a conservation area, there’s roads leading up to it with no footpaths and that’s a big concern for me.”
Chris Ward, Nottinghamshire County Council transport operations manager, said that the bus service was being discontinued as part of the council’s wider efficiency savings, which mean that it is ‘no longer able to fund routes deemed non-essential’.
“The council has assessed the walking route between Selston and the school as being available for children to make the journey on foot accompanied by an adult,” he said.
“There are footpaths the length of the route and a pedestrian crossing in Selston. Alternatively, children have access to the normal timetabled bus service between Selston and the school which they can use, accompanied by an appropriate adult.”