UPDATED: Students left stranded due to buses being full

John Colet School pupils and parents at a bus stop on Wendover Road, Aylesbury. The pupils are having a problem getting on the bus to school. Andy Foster, spokesman, is second from the left.

John Colet School pupils and parents at a bus stop on Wendover Road, Aylesbury. The pupils are having a problem getting on the bus to school. Andy Foster, spokesman, is second from the left.

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Students attempting to travel to their secondary school have regularly been left stranded due to overcrowded buses, it has emerged.

Now parent Andy Foster says he is one of many up in arms at having to pay bus company Arriva for a service that is not guaranteed.

Mr Foster, whose daughter is in her first year at the John Colet School in Wendover said: “We paid Arriva £162 for a Bucks Plus school term ticket from September to December and our daughter has been refused entry on to the bus at least five times in two weeks.

“When the kids have been able to get on they have been sitting on each others laps.”

Mr Foster’s daughter has been unable to get on the bus at Eastcote Road in Aylesbury and other students have experienced similar difficulties in Bedgrove.

He said: “The school starts at 8.30am and my daughter gets the bus at 7.47am.

“The next bus is just after 9am.

“On the way back there are three buses one after the other so there is no problem.”

The problem leaves some parents having to give them lifts.

John Colet headteacher Christine McLintock said: “Students receive advice on safe travel through presentations at school from Bucks Fire and Rescue.

“Such information sessions include safe bus travel and the importance of being seated.

“The school site is open from 7.30am and students are welcome to arrive from this time to avoid the busier travel period.”

An Arriva spokesman said: “We are aware of the issue faced by some schoolchildren in the morning following the start of the new academic year.

“As a result we have put the largest bus we have available on the two journeys that are having problems.

“As it is during the morning peak we do not have spare buses available but we are currently looking into other ways of assisting the children.

“However, this may not be something we can resolve immediately and anyone who has purchased a ticket and cannot make their journey can receive a refund by contacting our Customer Service department.

“At no point do schools contact us to advise us that there are an increase in the number of students using our buses, these are not school buses and therefore they have to be able to cater for everyone.

“We receive no financial support to carry school children and extra provision may require support so we will speak to Buckinghamshire County Council too.

“For now, we can only apologise for the problems that people are experiencing and assure parents and children we are investigating ways of resolving the situation.”