No room on school bus for some Buckshaw children leaving them forced to find their own way

A mother from Buckshaw has started a petition for parents after being told her daughter’s school bus is already full for the September term.

By Emma Downey
Friday, 5th August 2022, 3:45 pm

Marika Botham, 42, who lives in Holland House Way, says her 11-year-old daughter Sienna, who is due to start St Michael's Church of England High School in Chorley next month, has no way of getting to her new school without a long, unsupervised walk.

She said: "On Buckshaw Village there are a large number of us who have had school bus pass season ticket applications rejected. There are now 11-year-old children unable to get to high school safely.

"One single double decker bus is in place which is full and a large number of children cannot get to school.

Marika Botham from Buckshaw has been told her daughter, 11-year-old Sienna Burrow, will not be able to get the school bus to her St Michael's in September as it is full

"My 11-year-old is expected to get a bus that doesn't even stop at her school.

"There are parents willing to pay for their children to safely get to school and the council are not providing sufficient school transport each day.

"I have started a petition asking Lancashire Council to review the school transport and allow parents to have a safe way of getting their children to school - putting on school transport links and where possible using bigger buses to allow higher capacity.

"If we can share and sign the petition, do as much as we can to get better transport links for our children.

Pictured L-R is Marika, daughters Sienna, 11, and Scarlett Woods, 3, with Frank Moss and Councillor Dedrah Moss and Darrell Dunn from the Buckshaw Beat Facebook group

"There has to be a safer way to get them to school."

Marika, who is a design teacher at Runshaw college, added: "We applied for a bus pass in June and only received a response last Friday.

"It took forever to get a response to be told the bus was already at full capacity and that the only alternative was for her to travel on the 8.10am bus into Chorley town centre on her own and then walk 12 minutes to get to school.

"I have rang the bus company and they have said it's not up to them.

Standing in unison

"Asking children to get on public buses and walk back from town centres is not viable or having no links at all is not good enough.

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"Buckshaw has grown - so should the rest of it."

Another parent who wished to remain anonymous said: "It's so wrong. You are going to have 11-year-olds in the dark winter mornings having to do a 30 minute walk from the bus station to school.

Marika is worried over daughter Sienna's means of transport to school in September

"It's putting children at risk."

Councillor Dedrah Moss said she has been contacted by a number of parents and would be liaising with the heads of schools to find out what can be done.

A spokesperson for Lancashire County Council School Transport Team said: "The County Council has a statutory obligation to provide transport to those children who have an entitlement to home-to-school transport.

"Once our department has a clearer picture of the number of children that have a statutory entitlement and will be travelling on this bus service, we will be in a position to reassess applications."

They added that the reassessment would take place during or before the October half-term break and that anyone wishing to look at alternative transport should contact Traveline on 0871 200 2233.