Worried Melton parents say they fear for the safety of their children since a bus firm decided to replace a double decker, taking them to and from schools in Grantham, with a single decker bus.
Parents say their children, who take the number 8 Centrebus service, now had to stand or sit on friends’ knees because the bus is so packed.
They fear there’s ‘an accident waiting to happen’ with children standing on the crammed bus for the 16-mile journey from Melton to Grantham, travelling on the ‘dangerous, notorious for accidents’ A607.
Natalie Jones’ 12-year-old daughter, Eva, gets the bus to and from Walton Girls’ High School. Natalie, of Queensway, Melton, said Eva had had to sit on a friend’s knee because their were no seats left.
She said: “I just don’t think it’s safe and it’s endangering childrens’ lives. I’m worried if Eva is sat on a friend’s knees and if that bus came off the road for whatever reason or was involved in a crash she’s not going to survive.
“There are a lot of school children who catch that bus. Parents expect them to be provided with safe transport. “
Another worried parent said: “It’s an accident waiting to happen. There should be a better facility to get them to and from school.”
And another told the Melton Times: “It’s a real worry that my daughter and other passengers aren’t able to have a seat on a dangerous road. I wonder if Centrebus has made an assessment in terms of risk to life before making its decision?. I called Centrebus customer services and they said they’re not obligated to provide adequate seats for passengers, even though many of the passengers have pre-paid annual or termly tickets.”
Some parents, who had only recently paid Centrebus just under £600 for their child’s transport for the next academic year, are now paying even more to improve the chances of their children getting a seat on the bus back home instead of being left stranded. It’s got so bad that parents have been giving them 50p to catch the bus from their school to Grantham Bus Station and then catch the number 8 from there instead.
A Centrebus spokesman said: “We’re aware of the issue and are currently monitoring patronage on a daily basis to identify the extent of it and what action can be taken to address any concerns. Additionally we have had a number of inspectors checking and monitoring the service on the ground.”