Big bus causes traffic chaos at school

BIG ISSUE: Litton Cheney school pupils make their way down a narrow lane to meet the bus

BIG ISSUE: Litton Cheney school pupils make their way down a narrow lane to meet the bus

First published in News Dorset Echo: Photograph of the Author by

THE size of a bus taking children is causing traffic chaos, wasting staff time and endangering children, say staff and parents.

The 46-seater bus is too big to get up the lane to Thorner’s School in Litton Cheney, so it blocks the village road twice a day as the children get on and off.

It also means two members of staff have to escort the children morning and afternoon.

Head teacher Jyotsna Chaffey said the 46-seater was supposed to be a temporary solution while the bus company Damory found the right size bus with seatbelts for 30 children.

It used to send a smaller one but not all the seats had belts.

Parent governor Kim Pearse said this put staff in an impossible situation.

She said: “Which child do you decide not to put the seat belt on? As a teacher you can’t make that decision. What if something did happen? Whose responsibility is that?”

There is no legal or contractual requirement for the buses to be fitted with seatbelts parents decided they were not prepared to use a bus without them.

A four-year-old child has already been hurt falling out of the seat, said Mrs Chaffey.

She has also had to take a child off the bus and call parents to collect the pupil. Both the school and parents complained to Dorset County Council.

Mrs Chaffey said the school had a series of meetings with the bus company to resolve the problems.

The company asked if the school would be happy to have a bigger bus.

Mrs Chaffey said: “I said yes because I assumed it was going to be temporary but this has been going on since January and they don’t seem to be showing any signs of getting the appropriate size bus.

“Every day at the start and the end of the day we are having to send staff to the bottom of school lane to get the bus.

“It disrupts the school day, it is an unnecessary waste of time.

“The bus blocks the lane, obviously it’s chaos.

“Anyone not on the bus comes in a car so there are parents piling up at the bottom of the lane trying to get in.

“It is just madness down there at the start and the end of the school day and so unnecessary.

Litton Cheney Parish Council John Firrill said: “We would like to see it sorted as soon as possible.”

Adam Keen operations manager at Damory said: “We are just trying to work to a solution which satisfies all parties.”

Comments (4)

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1:48pm Fri 28 Mar 14

Rocksalt says...

"Anyone not on the bus comes in a car". Really ? Do no parents walk their children to school. ? I appreciate it's a rural school and may have a large geographical catchment, but even so.
"Anyone not on the bus comes in a car". Really ? Do no parents walk their children to school. ? I appreciate it's a rural school and may have a large geographical catchment, but even so. Rocksalt
  • Score: -1

4:32pm Fri 28 Mar 14

Zummerzet Lad says...

Try Bluebird they have a suitable coach I'm sure.
Try Bluebird they have a suitable coach I'm sure. Zummerzet Lad
  • Score: 5

9:40am Sat 29 Mar 14

dogtrainer says...

Thorners covers a large rural area. Most pupils live over 2 miles from school some as far as 6
Thorners covers a large rural area. Most pupils live over 2 miles from school some as far as 6 dogtrainer
  • Score: 1

5:34pm Sat 29 Mar 14

westbaywonder says...

The wheels on the bus go round and round. LOL
Use what you are provided with and be grateful!!!
The wheels on the bus go round and round. LOL Use what you are provided with and be grateful!!! westbaywonder
  • Score: 1

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