Boy, 11, stranded because school bus is full

SECONDARY school students are being left stranded at bus stops in the villages surrounding Hitchin, because the service they use is often too full.

SECONDARY school students are being left stranded at bus stops in the villages surrounding Hitchin, because the service they use is often too full.

Sam Grosvenor-Brown, who lives in Preston, has had problems getting 11-year-old son Jacob to school on several occasions, because the commercial bus service which he uses has been packed.

The Year 7 Priory School pupil is meant to use the Redline 88 service from Preston at 8.10am, which travels between Luton and Hitchin Priory School. But he and students from other Hitchin schools have had to find other ways of getting to school a number of times.

Sam told The Comet: “In his first week, the bus driver stopped, did not open his doors, and drove off.


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“Thankfully, I work at Preston School. He came running in, worried that he was going to be late. It’s not the last bus stop either, so there must be lots of children being stranded.

“The next bus is at 10.49am, and he can’t walk because it’s three miles and there’s no foot paths. It’s just a good job that I work nearby - I hate to think what might happen otherwise.”

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Students are given bus passes by Herts County Council (HCC), which is responsible for the provision of school transport, regardless of the fact that the bus itself is run by an independent company.

But Sam has so far been having to pay for Jacob, because there have been some issues with paperwork.

“He’s not got a bus pass yet, because there’s been problems, so we’re having to pay at the moment too,” added Sam.

“I’ve spoken to Priory School, and they are aware it’s a big problem.

“Jacob’s not been able to get on the bus three times in three weeks. But he was given a lift by a friend and me sometimes, so I think it’s been more than that.”

A spokesman from Redline said: “It’s being dealt with by the council. We can’t allocate another vehicle to the service, it would be down to them.

“We are fully aware of the problem, but it is beyond our control. If the council have issued bus passes for a number of children, it’s down to them to ensure there is enough transport.”

Sam has written to Redline, as well as local county councillor Nigel Brook. She has been told that a new service would be put on, but is under the impression that it’s only for Hitchin Girls’ School and Hitchin Boys’ School pupils.

The county council have said there would be a service laid on this week.

A spokesman added: “We are aware that there has been an issue on this route.

“As from Monday (yesterday), a 16 seat mini-bus, operated by Welham Travel, will run from Preston, taking students to Hitchin Boys School and Hitchin Girls School.

“This should relieve the pressure for seats on the existing service. This will be closely monitored to ensure that the issue has been resolved.”

Has your child been affected by busy bus services? Email editorial@thecomet.net

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