Doncaster grandmother calls for action after grandchildren left 'stranded' due lack of school buses

A concerned grandmother has called for better transportation for students travelling to and from a Doncaster school after her grandchildren were left ‘stranded’ due to a shortage of buses.

Wednesday, 9th October 2019, 12:50 pm
Updated Tuesday, 15th October 2019, 11:35 am

Bradley Ingber, 15, and 12-year-old Lilly-Mae Ingber, rely on a chartered bus to travel between their home in Sprotbrough and Ridgewood School, in Scawsby, each day as their mother Kerry does not currently have a car.

However their grandmother Janet Batty said the current bus service is unreliable and often leaves the pair ‘stranded’ as the buses are often full meaning means that her grandchildren are forced to walk home, a journey which can take over half an hour and is concerning as the dark, winter nights draw in.

Janet, 61, said the problem began before the school holidays in September and has now continued into the new academic year.

"There is currently one bus for Sprotbrough,” she said. “It has various stops along the way and is a double-decker which is normally full but sometimes they’ll send a single-decker which makes it the problem worse. Every morning there is someone that is left stranded because they can’t get onto the bus.

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“It is a big problem, not just for my family but for others as well. The kids are being left by the buses and it just isn’t fair as they get marked late in class.”

She is now calling on the Ridgewood School and South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive, who charter the bus, to do more to ensure the children get to and from school safely.

“They have to pay 80p to get on the bus and my granddaughter Lilly-Mae is upset because she can’t get to school on time,” Janet added. “She said it’s scary especially now when it gets dark after school, if they can’t get on the bus they have to walk home through the woods.

“It’s very concerning as nowadays you just can’t trust anyone and don’t know who is about. I just want to the school to take responsibility for their students – there used to be three buses and we want that back.”

The frustrated grandmother said she complained to the school but was told that nothing could be done.

Ridgewood School said they are not currently responsible for the bus service and instead the responsibility lies with South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive.

In a statement, SYPTE said: “We’re really sorry to hear about your reader’s experience and appreciate the concerns raised. Ridgewood school is served by a mix of tendered and commercial services that have been maintained at the same level as the last school year, with five different services travelling to Sprotbrough from school.

“We’ve worked hard with the operators to keep people connected to education, health and employment and have made school buses a priority. We value feedback and we encourage customers to log their comments at https://www.travelsouthyorkshire.com/TellUs/, so any issues can be thoroughly investigated.”