Parents lobby transport company Arriva to revive school bus

Parents are lobbying Arriva to revive a school bus to run between their village and Kettlethorpe High.

Friday, 11th October 2019, 2:54 pm
Updated Friday, 11th October 2019, 3:54 pm
Bus running from Walton to Kettlethorpe High has been scrapped .

For youngsters living in Walton, they face having to take two bus journeys to reach the school which is 2.5 miles away.

The number 506 service, which covered that route, was axed by Arriva last year after the bus operator said it was no longer cost effective.

Parents have argued that youngsters would often avoid using the service on a morning because it arrived at the school after the bell had rung, but was always full on the way home.

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Gemma Milburn, who launched the petition which has been signed by more than 250 people, said: “They say there were not enough people using it but I understand it was standing room only on a night.

“At the moment they have to get one bus, get off and walk for a bit, then get on another bus.

“There are some that are getting taxis or are able to get a lift, but there are other walking it.

“Winter’s coming and it will soon be dark so you’re going to have 11-year-olds walking along these roads in the dark.

“Everybody is unhappy about it, some can’t believe there’s no bus between the two schools.

“Walton Primary is a feeder school for Kettlethorpe but there’s no bus route for it.

“Both schools are supportive but there’s nothing they can do, it’s out of their control.”

She says the loss of the 506 service also cut an important lifeline for many between the village and the Asda superstore at Durkar.

She is now encouraging others to sign the online petition at Once on the website search for ‘Walton to Kettlethorpe School/ Asda bus’.

Having been contacted by the Express, Arriva said, unfortunately, there are no plans to reinstate the axed service.

Dwayne Wells, who is head of commercial for Yorkshire, said: “Back in 2018, following a review of usage, we made the decision to withdraw service 506.

“The last day of service was over a year ago at the end of the 2017/18 academic year.

“Unfortunately due to the low demand we are unable to reinstate the service.

“However, children from Walton are still able to access the school using Arriva services 195/196 and 110, which each run at regular intervals.”