Mother vows to fight on after bus and then funded taxi stopped for school children

Owen and Drew Carter with their mother Rachael Holland. A revised school bus route means the two boy

Owen and Drew Carter with their mother Rachael Holland. A revised school bus route means the two boys get a taxi after the bus stop close to their home was removed from the route.Picture: James Bass - Credit: James Bass

A frustrated mother is to appeal Norfolk County Council's ruling on their decision to remove the school bus stop from her village.

For many years the bus taking Fleggburgh children to Acle Academy had picked up pupils from a stop outside Broad Farm Holiday Park, on Main Road, but this was removed at the start of the new school term.

Rachael Holland initially raised her concerns as it meant that 13-year-old twin sons, Owen and Drew, would have to walk an extra mile along the busy A1064 road.

Mrs Holland said: 'It is a really dangerous road and I just can't have my children walking down there, especially at night. It is pitch black with only a couple of houses and there isn't even a path to walk along for some sections so how can anybody expect children to walk down there?'

The county council had originally planned to reverse the decision and funded daily taxis for Owen and Drew from the original stop to the new one in the meantime. However following a review, it has now been decided to stop the taxis.

In an email Niki Park, the council's commissioning and client services manager, said policy stated that: 'Parents are required to ensure their children get to and from the nearest vehicle boarding point.

'Pick up and set down points for children of statutory school age are provided as near as possible to home but parents are required to ensure their children get to and from the nearest boarding point.

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'This is usually no more than one mile away from home for children of primary school age and 1.5 miles for those of secondary school age. The distance between Mrs Holland's home and the pick-up point in Fleggburgh approximately three-quarters of a mile.'

Ms Park continued: 'My conclusion is the route is an available walking route according to the criteria - for the length of the route there is either an off-road path or a roadside strip that can be walked along. The part of the route which is a roadside strip rather than a path is about 0.04 miles. It would be for parents themselves to decide whether their child needs to be accompanied or not, as it is ultimately a parent's responsibility to ensure their child can get safely to and from a pick-up point.'

Mrs Holland responded: 'I feel I need to continue fighting this because it is the safety of my children at risk. There must be a compromise somewhere down the line. What is going to happen if one of my two boys gets hit by a car on their way home?'