Petition for 88A First bus service to be reinstated from Norwich Road bridge
PUBLISHED: 10:11 14 September 2015 | UPDATED: 10:19 15 September 2015
A mother-of-two has launched a petition to reinstate a morning bus service which was used by pupils travelling to Claydon High School.
The First Eastern Counties 88A bus route no longer stops at Norwich Road bridge, Ipswich, at 8.01am during term time as of August 30 – it still stops there in school holidays.
The bus company alerted Claydon High School to the changes during the summer break and parents were told on September 2, one day before the new school term.
This has caused problems for parents and pupils living in north Ipswich, including Julie Beales, who lives in Morlington Avenue, just off Norwich Road.
Mrs Beale’s 11-year-old daughter has just started in Year 7 at Claydon High School, and she said one of the reasons she chose the school was because it was accessible by bus.
“Due to this change my daughter and numerous other children now have to make other arrangements to get to school, which could involve walking another 10 minutes or so to a different bus route, walk, bike, or rely on family and friends to make the journey in their own cars, which is not helping the environment,” Mrs Beale said.
“This is an inconvenience to many families and will no doubt have an effect on other families choosing high schools for their children in the future.”
Being self-employed, Mrs Beale is able to drop her daughter off at school by car, but says she then has to rush home to get her other daughter to Dale Hall Primary School on time.
The petition has been supported by Central Suffolk and North Ipswich MP Dan Poulter and borough councillor David Goldsmith, who plans to bring the issue up with his fellow councillors in their next meeting.
Claydon High School headteacher Sarah Skinner said there were around 30 pupils who had been affected by the changes.
Some of those children are now having to get the 7.20am service, which gets them to school at 7.40am, said Mrs Skinner.
“I’m supporting the petition because I think a lot of parents picked the school having checked out the bus routes,” she added.
“Then to have a change on the last week of the school holiday and no information going out is just incredibly unhelpful. It’s caused us a problem.”
Mrs Skinner said she had contacted the bus company about the issue.
A First Eastern Counties spokesman said the company was aware a number of parents were not happy with the change made to the 88A service and also that there was a petition in circulation to have the journey reinstated.
He added: “We welcome feedback from customers through all formats and we take all suggestions very seriously. I can confirm that we are working on a solution to improve the present situation and we should be in a position to announce a proposal in the next couple of weeks.”
The petition, which has so far been signed by around 100 people, can be found on www.change.org