Doncaster children unable to get to school after promised First bus leaves them 'adrift'

Schoolchildren relying on a bus to take them from Stainforth to Trinity Academy in Thorne have been left ‘adrift’ after First failed to put on a service previously promised to parents before term started.

Wednesday, 9th September 2020, 12:18 pm

Now one mother says her three chidren have been left struggling to get to school every day, and she is concerned for their safety as winter appraoches and alternative transport home has been taking them two hours.

Sarah Brooks, of Stainforth, has three children who go to Trinity and was relying on the school bus she says was promised.

She said: “I rang First on the August 27 to enquire if they were putting on extra services for the kids travelling from Stainforth to get to Trinity Academy.

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First bus operates a number of services in the Doncaster area.

“I was assured they were aware there were numerous children needing transport and would be putting on a dedicated school bus S87.

“This did not happen and kids could not get to school. Also at home time it took my kids two hours after school had finished to get home.

“I find this unacceptable. Especially First reassuring me buses would be put on and then not doing so.

“I'm worried about the dark nights coming in and the cold weather. I think the people of Doncaster need to know that First have left our children adrift.”

Trinity Academy, Thorne

The Doncaster Free Press contacted Trinity Academy.

A spokesperson said: “We are very disappointed about the poor bus service, which means that are some of our students cannot get to school. We have contacted the council and local politicians, so that they are aware of the situation and we hope that they will take immediate steps to solve the issue.

"In the meantime, we are sending out minibuses to pick up students who have been stranded in the mornings, although this is not sustainable in the longer term and we need a solution quickly.”

Rob Hughes, Operations Director at First South Yorkshire said: “We have been working closely with SYPTE on facilitating bus provision as students get back into education at their respective schools and colleges.

"In addition to the dedicated school buses that have been assigned by SYPTE, we are running our normal commercially operated services with many running close to schools and colleges on route to outbound destinations that students can use for travel.

“In relation to a dedicated S87 bus which has not been in place previously, I will discuss the matter with SYPTE to ascertain if it is a provision they think has sufficient demand to financially support and if it has, when a service is likely to be introduced.”

Details of services available are here.