The Tiger Line will be coming to the rescue of Rydon Community College pupils in Storrington when autumn term starts next month.
The new community bus will ensure they have transport to get to the school, which is some distance from Storrington on the Thakeham Road. It is a stop-gap measure after cuts to the original service until something permanent can be sorted out.
Concern had escalated in the area after a decision by West Sussex County Council to cut bus services 601 and 619,because they were uneconomical to run. Pupils had previously relied on them to get to school.
Storrington Parish Council, county councillor Frank Wilkinson, county council and Rydon School representatives, including head teacher Allison Murphy, parents and a school governer, met recently to look at short and long term solutions to the bus cuts.
Allison Murphy said: “Our long term goal is to work together to look at safe cycling and safe walking routes to the college. However this will take a few years to go through all the relevant committees and procedures needed. As a group we were concerned about children carrying a lot of belongings including sporting, cooking equipment and getting to and from school in dark or inclement weather.
“Also we discussed as a group how we do not want to see an increase in cars on already congested village streets.”
The solution for the autumn term is a joint working partnership between Rydon and Village Coaches.
Graham Hawkins, owner of Village Coaches, and a long-term supporter of Rydon College is prepared to put on a dedicated bus service called The Tiger Line. This will run from the start of term and will cost pupils £1 each way to cover costs. This will need to be paid as pupils get on the bus.
Any pupil wishing to travel on the bus will be allowed to, giving pupils from Meadowside the opportunity to travel by bus to the college from Storrington Bus Station.
At the parish meeting, sponsorship which could reduce the cost for pupils was discussed and anyone who is able to help fund the scheme has been asked tp contact Graham Hawkins direct on firstname.lastname@example.org
Everyone involved - the Rydon team, Village Coaches, Parish Council and West Sussex County Council wish to make this scheme work for the benefit of children in the area. Rydon and Village Coaches will monitor and review the impact of the bus service. It is hoped to arrange a coffee morning at Rydon in the second half of the autumn term to review the service with parents and interested parties.
Pick up and drop off points for the new service will be: Outside at road entrance to Leisure Centre/Cricket Ground at 7.55am, followed by Rapley Avenue Near Dean Way, Crowhurst Crescent,Steyning Crescent, Fryern Close, Outside Storrington First School,opposite the Green on Spierbridge Road, Near North Street,
Storrington Bus station 8.12am. Any pupil wishing to travel on thebus will be allowed to.