Transport shake-up is leaving parents in lurch

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Parents have been left fuming at a lack of suitable bus transport to get their children to school, according to a school governor.

The vice-chair of governors at John F Kennedy School has been contacted by parents of pupils living in Bovingdon and Chipperfield who say a recent change in transport provision has left them without any realistic way to get to school each day.

Governor Heather Houston said: “Children from Bovingdon and Chipperfield attending schools in Hemel Hempstead have been denied places on a school bus which Herts County Council promised to provide after its shake-up of the transport policy.

“The bus contracted by county is a 16-seater and about 10 children have been left stranded without a seat for the start of the new school term, including a child with a statement of special education needs.

“One parent checked the Intalink website to look for an alternative bus service and was advised to catch a bus the night before in order to be at school on time!

“The contracted bus provider has a larger bus which he is willing to run if only county would authorise it.”

Starting this month, the county council is only providing transport for those pupils with a statutory entitlement.

A spokesman for the county council said: “We understand that there is demand from parents to buy seats on a vehicle running to JFK and Cavendish from Chipperfield and Bovingdon.

“Officers are working in partnership with the schools concerned, to work with parents, to explore alternative travel arrangements for their children, which are cost neutral to the county council.”

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