Mums’ nightmare as no room on school bus

Maria Mitton, left, and Roisin Bennett
Maria Mitton, left, and Roisin Bennett

As the new school year began yesterday, Thursday, a group of Marsh Gibbon mums are at their wits’ end over school transport.

Roisin Bennett said: “We’re having a nightmare. We can’t get our kids to school.”

Mrs Bennett’s 16-year-old son Jack has just started sixth form at the Buckingham School.

As a sixth former, Jack no longer qualifies for free school transport, and Mrs Bennett accepted she would now have to pay for Jack to use the school bus, but he has not been allocated a place.

Mrs Bennett, who doesn’t drive, said: “They’re saying the bus is full. They say it’s discretionary and there’s no room on the bus.

“The problem is, up until last year there used to be two school buses, one to the Buckingham School and one to the Royal Latin but they’ve been amalgamated into one bus.

“I think they forget not everybody drives.

“They said couldn’t he get public transport?”

But Mrs Bennett said the public bus leaves Marsh Gibbon at 8.50am which would get Jack into school an hour late at 9.30am. School comes out at 3.15pm but the first public bus Jack can get home is not until 4.50pm.

Mrs Bennett said: “We’ve done everything. We spoke to the council 60 million times and got nowhere. I just think we’re kind of in No Man’s Land out here in Marsh Gibbon.”

Wednesday was the first day at the Buckingham School for Sheri Maskell’s son William, aged 11.

But Mrs Maskell found out last Friday that William is not entitled to a free bus to school, even though his older brother Tom is.

She said: “It was only highlighted to me when Tom’s bus pass arrived and Will’s didn’t.

“I phoned them to find out where Will’s was and they said he doesn’t qualify. And not only does he not qualify for free transport, there’s no room on the bus if he did qualify.

“I’ve spent so much time trying to sort this out, it’s ruined the last few days of our holiday. I’ve had to make alternative arrangements this week. I’m separated but his father has had to take time off work to take him to school and pick him up. But that can’t continue.”

Maria Mitton has faced a similar problem as her 13-year-old daughter Alyssa was not allocated a place on the school bus.

Mrs Mitton said she cannot deliver Alyssa to school in Buckingham as well as drop her four-year-old son Tyler to pre-school in the opposite direction. Mrs Mitton said she kept Alyssa off school on Thursday, rather than have her arrive at school an hour late by public bus.

Nobody from Bucks County Council was available for comment.