Parents to appeal against Oxfordshire school bus cuts

Parents in Oxfordshire have said they will appeal against a decision to cut a free school bus for some pupils.

Only children living more than three miles (5km) from their school in Abingdon now qualify for free travel.

A council spokesman said a review discovered free transport was being provided when it should not have been.

Parents in Drayton said the walk took an hour and was unsafe, although the council has defended the journey as safe to make on foot.

Adrian Strong, who has three children affected by the changes, said councillors were refusing to review the decision.

"The fight will go on. We have our appeals and we'll see where that takes us."

'No accidents'

Pupils living less than three miles away who want to use the dedicated buses to schools in Abingdon will now have to pay £240 a year.

The three-mile rule implemented by the council works by postcode.

This means some children in the village will pay for transport and some will not, despite catching the same bus from the same bus stop.

In December Oxfordshire County Council said: "The walked routes available within the village of Drayton are safe.

"There are very good footway links and good crossing provision. No accidents involving pedestrians have been reported in the most recent five years on this route."

About 20 parents will now have their appeals heard separately by a panel of three county councillors.

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