York & North Yorkshire

Harrogate parents unhappy at school bus pass decision

children on a school bus
Image caption Free school bus passes are only given to children who live more than three miles from their school

A group of parents in Harrogate are worried for their children's safety after North Yorkshire County Council revoked their free school bus passes.

The passes are given to children who live more than three miles from school but 12 families in the Jennyfields area have been told they no longer qualify.

After a review the council found the pupils in question could use a 2.92 mile route across the moor instead.

Parents said the route would force children to walk in unsafe conditions.

'Totally unsuitable'

Sharon Nickerson, one of the affected parents lodging an appeal against the decision, said: "They provided us with this new route which we think is totally unsuitable.

"If you've been up here at 7.30 in the morning to see the conditions, it's totally pitch black and it's such a long walk for them."

Parents said if the council went ahead with the decision they would probably have to pay for public transport or a school bus pass.

The bus pass to take the children to Rossett School costs £275 a year.

Richard Owens, assistant director of integrated passenger transport at North Yorkshire County Council, said the assessment of reliability was carried out according to national guidelines.

"We have an appeals process which parents can exercise if they wish," he added.

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