Shropshire Star

Parents raise concerns over public buses that have replaced dedicated school transport

Parents living in the Telford borough have raised concerns over public bus services which have replaced dedicated school transport.

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The Charlton School, Wellington. Pictured by Toby Neal

Just over one week since the start of the 2023-2024 academic year, parents in places such as High Ercall, Tibberton and Lilleshall, say they've already begun to see issues emerging with the public buses taking their children to-and-from school.

It comes following Telford & Wrekin Council's decision to replace some dedicated coach services with public buses, while pupils are given bus passes to use on the routes.

Pupils affected use either a pre-existing Arriva service, or one of two newly-created 103 and 104 routes operated by Chaserider. This change of service began last week.

Parents say they have experienced issues with buses not stopping for children – and them having to run to the next stop – as well as overcrowding, late drop-offs and pick-ups.

One mum, from High Ercall, whose son attends Charlton School and catches the 103 service to get to school said: "On Friday, my son and all the other students were waiting to be picked-up.

"I check his location a while later and can see he was still at the bus stop so I rang him and he said it hasn't turned up. I had to make arrangements to pick up my son and I rang one of the girls in the village and said 'I don't think the bus has turned up'.

"It was 30 degrees, there was no shade and sweltering heat. When I pulled in (at the school car park) there were cars all over the place and kids all over the place.

"I sent an email in to travel assistance at Telford & Wrekin Council to say you are putting our children at risk.