Pupils told to get off school bus

Jack Lucas and his father David at the bus stop outside St Michael's Academy where he was refused onto a bus because he did not have a pass
Jack Lucas and his father David at the bus stop outside St Michael's Academy where he was refused onto a bus because he did not have a pass
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A Chorley dad is furious after his son was told to get off a school bus because he did not have a pass.

For the past two years, Jack Lucas, 13, has been paying every day to get the 797 bus to take him home from St Michael’s High School on Astley Road to Fir Tree Close in Coppull.

However, he was shocked on Monday night when he was told that only pupils with a bus pass - which costs parents up to £400 a year - would be allowed to get on the bus from Tuesday afternoon.

Outraged dad David Lucas said: “I have been told by Lancashire County Council that they have had a review of the services.

“But I cannot believe that they have stopped allowing people on the bus with only 24 hours notice.

“There were no leaflets or letters to parents to let us know about the changes.

“It is scary that LCC and the bus companies are leaving pupils to walk long distances.

“There should be a duty of care for the kids to get home and I don’t want to think about the distance they have to walk or crossing busy roads.

“It’s just a cost-cutting measure by LCC.”

Mr Lucas added that he was angry about the lack of communication by county hall chiefs.

He said: “Even though there were 12 empty seats on the bus he was left to stand at the side of the road.

“Lots of his friends were stranded there and he has always paid to get on the bus.”

Tony Moreton, LCC’s assistant director for sustainable transport, said: “In previous years, students were able to use this bus and pay the fare on the day. However, the bus is now filled to capacity with pass holders, so unfortunately this is no longer possible.

“We are aware that this could present a problem for some students and we are looking to see if there is anything we can do to help.”

Headteacher Chris Bagguley of St Michael’s said: “We liaise with them (LEA) closely to support our pupils and their parents when difficulties arise.

“The issue is that the seating capacity on any route is determined by the number of pupils who have been issued with or have purchased bus passes from the Local Authority.

“These pupils are guaranteed a place on the bus. Any surplus space on the bus is then available on a first come first served basis to pupils who choose to pay for each journey they make rather than have a pass.

“This has always been the case. Nothing has changed from previous years.”

- Have you been affected? Tell us your story on 01257 264911 or email christopher.maguire@lep.co.uk