Student outraged over no-stop bus

AN Otley College student's family is outraged after spending almost £90 on a bus pass – only for the bus not to stop.For three days 16-year-old Ashley Smith, of Ashcroft Road, Ipswich, – together with his two friends – has seen the 8.

AN Otley College student's family is outraged after spending almost £90 on a bus pass – only for the bus not to stop.

For three days 16-year-old Ashley Smith, of Ashcroft Road, Ipswich, – together with his two friends – has seen the 8.35am Beestons bus that should be taking them to college drive past. It is believed to have been full up each time.

This means the boys, who were waiting near Westerfield Railway Station, had to find another way to get to college.

Ashley said: "The first time we saw it drive past I was really worried as I knew I had to get to college for my first day.


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"We gave it the benefit of the doubt and couldn't believe it when it happened again.

"We had to rely on friends and family to get us there which isn't fair."

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Ashley's father, Peter Smith, 43, also of Ashcroft Road, said: "My son and his two friends each bought an £87 season ticket for the term to take them from the Old Cattle Market or Westerfield Railway Station to Otley College.

"On Monday the bus went right past them at Westerfield and my friend had to take them to college.

"On Tuesday I took them to Westerfield and the same thing happened and I took them.

"On Wednesday my son had the day off. Yesterday the bus drove past them again.

"As we have bringing them back, they haven't been getting the bus home."

Mr Smith has pointed out the problem to both Suffolk County Council and Beestons.

He said: "It is annoying because we are having to travel around a lot. We can't leave the children at the side of the road, especially during the first week when it is most important for them to be able to bond with the other pupils.

"It is very annoying to think I have paid the money and my boy and his friends are left standing at the side of the road.

"I would like to see a proper bus service, running on time, where the children can sit down. If you are paying almost £90 for a bus pass you shouldn't have to stand."

Moira Jackson, education communications manager at Suffolk County Council said: "We are sorry if this has caused problems for the students concerned.

"Some transport arrangements have changed recently, and when we realised there might be a problem with the bus being full on this route, we made arrangements for a second vehicle to provide a relief bus five minutes later than the first bus.

"There has been a problem with that relief bus on Thursday, when it didn't run and we are currently talking to the bus company to try and rectify that for the future."

Philip Munson, managing director at Beestons, said: "The company is looking into it and will do what it can to help the council.

"However, it's the council's responsibility to ensure a vehicle of suitable size is supplied.

"There's bound to be one or two hiccups as it's the start of the term before it settles down."

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