Concerns over loss of school bus

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County has withdrawn funding for the school bus from Storrington to Rydon Community College (route 601,619).

From September the school bus service that operates from the Hormare Estate to Rydon will cease. My daughter will start school at Rydon in September and we were relying on using the service along with many existing and new users. The decision has nothing to do with the school and it has urged parents to make representations to the council.

I have contacted the school transport officer, James Skilling. The decision appears to be final.

Although the council says it will be working with the school to provide safe walking and cycling routes, I am not convinced. Finding a ‘safe route’ in Storrington is almost impossible. We have extreme issues with traffic pollution, congestion and road safety.

The schools break up for the summer holiday this week - who is going to be working on the safe route scheme over the summer holidays in time for when the kids go back?

The money it will cost to make the route ‘safe’ could outweigh the cost of the bus!

I am not against walking or cycling to school but Storrington is definitely not safe for cyclists. I do not know of one cycle path in the whole of Storrington! I live on the Pulborough Road and cars hurtle along at 50mph when it is a 30mph limit. Why should our children be subjected to that?

By stopping the bus, parents will start to use their cars to transport their children which will only add to the problems in Storrington ( even with car share schemes).

If Waitrose expands then there will be more HGVs travelling down the B2139 Thakeham Road making it even more unsuitable for children to walk to Rydon. The pavements are just too narrow.

Pollution in Storrington is already 40 per cent above safe levels - why should we subject our children to this by allowing them to walk and cycle?

The bus costs 80p each way (or 40p if you have a ‘3 in 1 card’ which costs £50) with top up from county. How much - who knows? Because everything is privatised, they probably charge the council a fortune. If the council run the service ‘for its community’ then I bet it could continue if they were prepared to cover costs and not make a profit. Are our children not worth it?

Some people have already purchased the £50 ‘3in1’ card because they were expecting to use the service. Is the council going to refund their money?

I know of many others who feel the same as I do.

KATHERINE SUCKLING

Pulborough Road, Storrington