Parents of pupils from Roxton who attend Alban Academy in Great Barford have won a temporary victory in their hard fought campaign to reinstate their school bus.
In 2012 Bedford Borough Council adopted new road safety assessment criteria in its Home to School Transport policy which led to the walking route between Roxton and the school being classified as ‘safe’. This meant that the school bus was cancelled and the pupils, aged from just 9 years old, were expected to walk the 2.8 mile route with their parents.
The decision was made by Liberal Democrat and Labour councillors despite the deeply held concerns of parents about the safety of the C44 road which children were expected to walk alongside in all weathers and in the dark. The Council also admitted that the removal of the bus would not save any money.
There is an increased volume of traffic on the road, possibly arising from the works being undertaken on the Black Cat roundabout, and after more lobbying the school bus is to be-reinstated from November until the end of the academic year in July. Another assessment will then be undertaken to see if the increased volume of traffic has remained. The Council is still of the view that the route is ‘safe’.
Cllr Tom Wootton, who supported the campaign said:
‘It is fantastic news and such an unexpected u-turn. Those mums have been working for years on this, writing to the Queen, meeting with ministers. They have had an absolutely single-minded dedication to get the bus back and it is a great tribute to them and to the Parish Council that they have kept up the fight.’