My daughter, 11, can't get to school as bus is too FULL – I can't take her but council say it's my problem & I'm fuming | The Sun
A MUM says she can't get her daughter to school because the bus is too full – but the council says it's her problem.
Marika Botham's youngster Sienna, 11, is due to start her first year of secondary school in September, but has been told she has to take public transport that doesn't even stop at the school.
The mum, 42, applied for the £40-a-month seasonal bus pass in June but returned from holiday last week to find their application had been rejected.
Marika, from Buckshaw Village, Lancashire, told LancsLive: "I got through to this guy in the call centre who said look, we should be able to help you and will hopefully sort it out.
"Two days later, I got a phone call from the actual office. (The officer) was really abrupt, just really short and he just said look, 'it's your responsibility to get your own child to school'."
Being a full-time college teacher, taking her daughter to St Michael's in Chorley each morning is simply "not an option".
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The cost of a seasonal ticket is something Marika says she is more than happy to pay to get Sienna safely to school.
Lancashire County Council offer a daily bus service taking secondary school pupils straight to the school gates.
The service is offered to pupils eligible for free bus passes but parents are also able to pay for seasonal tickets to get their kids straight to school.
But Sienna – who already faces the daunting prospect of a new school – is now set to be dropped 15 minutes away each morning.
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She is not alone, 12 other kids have been put on the waiting list for a bus pass by Lancashire County Council, according to parents.
It has left parents wondering why the school can't lay on a second bus for those who have missed out on a seat on the first service.
A second bus option is being explored by the council.
The situation has been exasperated by the fact winter is looming and many of the kids are only 11 years old and will have to trek to school in the dark.
A petition to end the bus hell has been signed by more than 300 people.
Despite their pleas, parents now have to wait until October half term to have their applications reconsidered.
A spokesperson for Lancashire County Council said: "Season tickets are issued on a 'first-come, first served' basis and there is no bias applied to the age of the applicant or whether a sibling is already travelling.
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"Pupils for St Michael's can catch this service into Astley Village and use the public footpaths to access school or walk from Chorley library.
"However, we have held discussions with the operator and they are able to provide a slightly larger bus to provide seats for 8 extra pupils, whilst not incurring any additional cost to Lancashire County Council."
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