Parents protest as loss-making school bus service is axed

PARENTS are protesting at the axing of the school bus between Godmanchester and Hinchingbrooke School. The bus has run for about 10 years charging parents a fee of £300 a year. Last week, a letter was sent to parents warning that the service will stop on

PARENTS are protesting at the axing of the school bus between Godmanchester and Hinchingbrooke School.

The bus has run for about 10 years charging parents a fee of £300 a year.

Last week, a letter was sent to parents warning that the service will stop on April 18.

The operators, Huntingdon and District, wrote to parents saying it could no longer run the route. However, on Monday, Whippet Buses stepped in to say that they would run the bus route, at least until the summer holidays.

General manager, of Huntingdon and District, Terry Read, wrote: "We appreciate the inconvenience withdrawing this service will have on you but, unfortunately, we have been operating the service at a loss for some time. We have been in contact with Cambridgeshire County Council requesting funds so we could continue, but none are available."

Mum, Sally Ingram, a healthworker, whose son, Luke, 12 is a pupil at Hinchingbrooke, said: "This is very short notice. Parents like the bus because it gives you peace of mind, you know your child is getting to school safely."

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Dennis Upton, managing director of Cavalier Travel, which runs Huntingdon and District Buses, said the school bus was running at a loss and fares would have to treble to make it cover the real cost.

He said two other routes, the 804 and the 805 from Grafham and Buckden to Hinchingbrooke, were subsidised by Cambridgeshire County Council because they were far enough away from the school to qualify for a subsidy. These would continue unaffected but also be covered by Whippett.

A spokesman for Cambridgeshire County Council said arrangements had been made with Whippett to continue running the Godmanchester School bus for the summer term.

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