THE Hapton mother of a teenage girl who goes to school in Burnley is furious that a school bus service has been scrapped.
Mrs Emma King, a nurse at the Royal Blackburn Hospital, says she is worried for her 14-year-old daughter Rebecca’s safety now she will have to use public transport to travel from home in Hapton to Hameldon Community College in Coal Clough Lane, Burnley.
Hameldon recently moved from its previous location, off Padiham Road, to Coal Clough Lane, meaning a longer journey for pupils from Hapton.
But Lancashire County Council has now also taken the decision to scrap the 893 service due to cost-cutting measures.
Mrs King said: “There are 16 children from Hapton who used the 893 bus to Hameldon which has been taken off. The school has also moved further away.
“If I had known there would not be this bus service I would not have put Rebecca into Hameldon. It now means she will have to set off from home at 7am which, in winter months, I am very worried about. I don’t think it will be safe for her and other young people.
“The most galling thing is that the county council has said the bus service is being taken away as no-one is eligible for a free bus pass. I feel we are being punished because I work.
“I know some parents are now considering taking their children out of the school.”
Terry Clark, Lancashire County Council’s pupil access manager, said: “To ensure we are getting the best value for money, each year we have to review the buses we provide for pupils entitled to free school transport.
“The 893 route costs council taxpayers £20,710 a year on top of the fares, which works out at £109 a day.
“However, as there will be no pupils entitled to free transport travelling on the 893 this September, we have taken the difficult decision to terminate the service. The route is currently served by existing commercial bus services, which will offer greater flexibility and economy than the county council’s service.
“We understand this means pupils using Transdev will need to change at the bus station, but many secondary pupils already do this, and unfortunately we cannot justify the cost of continuing to run the 893.”