Parents' bus stop move protest
PARENTS are protesting against a decision to move their children's school bus stop outside their village.Nine-year-olds Karla Thurston and Alice Warne, and William Warne, aged seven, of Farnham, near Saxmundham, have to walk up a fast-moving and busy stretch of the A12 using a narrow pathway to catch their school bus.
PARENTS are protesting against a decision to move their children's school bus stop outside their village.
Nine-year-olds Karla Thurston and Alice Warne, and William Warne, aged seven, of Farnham, near Saxmundham, have to walk up a fast-moving and busy stretch of the A12 using a narrow pathway to catch their school bus.
Their new stop is in a 50mph zone at a turn-off at Benhall Low Street, north of Farnham.
They are also dropped off at that point, which is uphill from their homes and away from the residential area.
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Up until April, the children caught the bus around the corner, at the same point as generations before within the 30mph zone in the village centre.
The old stop, opposite Brian Fullers Caravans, has a bus layby and a shelter against the elements.
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Because of the dangerous road conditions, they are accompanied by their parents and met by them after school.
The parents complain that the new spot is exposed and isolated, and are concerned about its safety.
The change also means they now have to cross the busy road twice a day instead of once, as they did before.
They have taken up their concerns with Farnham Parish Council, which has protested against the change and written to the authorities.
Farnham parish clerk Julia Harris said: "They then have to cross over the very wide Benhall Low Street and wait on a grass verge with no shelter or indeed pull-in for the bus. This spot is isolated, apart from the heavy traffic."
Grandmother Janice Warne argued that the old bus stop, which they believed had been used for decades, was much safer and more convenient than the new one.
"There was plenty of space. It was just literally around the corner. You are well away from the cars."
Andrew Warne, father of Alice and William, added: "They are stopping on the brow of a hill at a junction. There are no houses around so the children are totally isolated."
He wondered where parents were supposed to wait for the children.
"It's ludicrous," he said.
A spokeswoman for Suffolk County Council said: "Suffolk County Council asked the operator of this public bus service to alter the bus route in this area, to enable a number of young people to catch the bus who otherwise wouldn't have had access to transport to get to and from school.
"Unfortunately this has meant a small number of children now have to walk in the opposite direction to catch this bus, but we have checked the walk and the bus pick up point and are satisfied with the environment from a safety perspective."