Students blamed for damage totalling £7,000 as Letchworth bus service halted
- Credit: Archant
Vandalism by schoolchildren, falling passenger numbers and a lack of subsidies by a council has caused a bus services to stop – according to its director.
Cozy Travel stopped running its 807 bus service in Letchworth at the end of the school term last month and have announced that it will not restart when children return to school in September.
The term-time service, which travelled through the Jackmans, Lordship and Grange estates, was open to the public but was mainly used by children going to Fearnhill and Highfield schools.
Greg Powell, director of Cozys, said: “Some of those children are unbelievable. They’ve caused more than £7,000 worth of damage to seats and ripped out a security camera that cost £1,000. It was bolted into the wall but that didn’t stop them.
“In another incident they bent over nine seats, destroying their frames and put the seatbelts over them. It’s wilful, mindless destruction and it’s costing us a fortune.
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“The current set-up is unsustainable. We have less and less people using the bus, hardly any of the public use it and for the past couple of years it hasn’t been subsidised by Herts County Council so we’re stopping it.”
The Letchworth-based company used to run a dedicated school service until 2012 when HCC changed its contract.
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The county council said: “We appreciate that Cozy’s decision to no longer run a bus service to Fearnhill and Highfield schools will be disruptive for some families. However, this is a commercial decision made by Cozy.
“We only subsidise home-to-school transport for a small number of children, two of whom have been using the 807 service. We will continue to fund their journeys to school from next term on other local bus services.”
• Will you be affected by the 807 bus service stopping? Contact the Comet newsdesk on 01438 866200 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.