School bus service scrapped after youngsters forced to wait 40 minutes to board “unsafe” coaches

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Council chiefs have scrapped the contract for a rural school bus after pupils were left waiting up to 40 minutes to be picked up.

KK Minibuses ran the route taking youngsters between Hanslope village and The Radcliffe School in Wolverton.

But Milton Keynes Council has ended the contract after a number of complaints from pupils and parents about the punctuality of the service and the safety of the vehicles.

One parent, who asked not to be named, said: “One day last week the bus was 10 minutes late.

“As children were getting on they called for the bus driver as there was a big hole in the floor. A panel was missing and they could see the mechanics underneath.

“The driver did put the panel down and stamped on it - but it was not sealed any other way.

“There were loose light panels with wires showing, and a light panel fell down while the vehicle was in motion hitting a child on the head.”

A new company is now running the service.

Jason Falkner, business manager at The Radcliffe School, said: “On one occasion the students arrived at school 40 minutes late. This is obviously a concern, not simply because of them being late for their lessons, but because they have had to wait outside in winter, not knowing if the bus was even coming or not. Obviously we made sure the students had something to eat and had warmed up before we sent them into lessons.

“The safety of our children is of paramount importance, and we have backed the parents’ concerns 100 per cent. The council has responded quickly when we contacted them.

A Milton Keynes Council spokesman said: “The council terminated its contract with KK Transport at the start of this week following complaints about the service that they had not been able to resolve. A new provider was immediately sought to take over the route.”

A spokesman for KK Minibuses said: “We have run this service for a number of years and have not had any problems until the last few weeks.

“We did have one driver turn up late, that was something we dealt with. As regards the safety of the vehicles, our vehicles are checked every day, and they are not unsafe in any way.

“The children on this run are rude, they don’t sit down with their seatbelts on, they walk around the bus, and they swear at the drivers. I have had them on the phone to me being rude, and I have had parents on the phone to me with their children in the background swearing at me.”