People power saves village’s school bus

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VILLAGERS have saved their children’s school bus service after funding for it was scrapped by County Hall.

Route E464 between Little Gaddesden and Tring School will be scrapped from September this year.

But after the Gazette reported the threat in October last year, the wheels were set in motion that would save the service.

Little Gaddesden parish councillor Omer Kutluoglu said: “Parents are delighted that the bus service has been saved – and it was the Gazette that got the ball rolling.

“This is a good, success story in terms of the whole community pulling together.

“When you go out looking for help, it is surprising how many people are willing to give it to you.”

He had appealed in our story for anyone who could help him fund alternative transport for village youngsters.

A day later, Community Action Dacorum phoned him with the offer of a minibus for rent.

He got in touch with village support group The Gaddesden Society, which agreed to underwrite the vehicle’s costs and on Monday a contract was signed.

Mr Kutluoglu said: “Everyone has rallied round and pulled together to make this work.

“Furthermore, we have managed to realise savings for parents, so it will be cheaper than what they currently pay.”

County Hall had scrapped their original service after funding cuts meant it could no longer subsidise the lengthy journey.

The new bus – which has room for 16 children – will be driven by volunteer parents between the two locations every morning and afternoon, Monday to Friday.

It will also be available for hire for community groups in the village.