Parents' delight as children given school bus passes at 11th hour
PUBLISHED: 11:30 24 September 2019
Pupils at a Suffolk high school have been given bus passes to the delight of parents who had been facing a dilemma between working and driving their children to school.
A group of six parents of East Bergholt High School pupils who live in Hadleigh had applied for passes but were told by Suffolk County Council (SCC) their children would have to find their own way to school.
They had applied through the spare seat scheme, which allocates seats to children who do not get a free bus pass, but had been told there were no spaces despite their children reporting tens of empty seats.
However, after a mistake was discovered they have now been awarded the travel passes.
Karen Murphy said she was faced with having to decide between working and taking her 11-year-old son and 14-year-old daughter to school after Friday September 26.
"I had gone through all the options. I can't take the time off work to take them every day and a taxi is too expensive," she said.
"We even thought we might have to move house to somewhere we can get transport, so I am so pleased that we have got the passes. I really am so, so happy.
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"It really is one less thing to think about as a parent, knowing that your children will be getting to school safely.
"It was keeping me awake at night for weeks. I just didn't know what I was going to do. It is a massive relief."
Originally the bus used on the route was a 28-seater. However, it was recently changed to a larger bus and it is thought this may have caused some confusion over the number of available seats.
Bus drivers had reportedly been told to allow children with no bus passes to travel up until September 27, so children without the passes would have not been allowed on from next week.
SCC said in an email to parents that invoices for passes had now been sent.
The council was approached for comment but did not wish to respond.
But Miss Murphy added: "I know that it will be a weight off the kids' minds.. I know they have been anxious about it.
"I just want to thank the county council for realising their mistake and making it right."