Eye: Anger as free school bus is axed

Families in Eye are concerned about new proposals to take away free bus passes for children travelling to Thomas Deacon Academy from the village. Members of the Jackson, Robson, Skingsley, Bramwell, Harker and Ella family. Picture: Ben Davis/Peterborough ET
Families in Eye are concerned about new proposals to take away free bus passes for children travelling to Thomas Deacon Academy from the village. Members of the Jackson, Robson, Skingsley, Bramwell, Harker and Ella family. Picture: Ben Davis/Peterborough ET

ANGRY parents have slammed a move to axe the free transport given for their children to get to school.

Peterborough City Council has cut the transport which took 13 youngsters from Eye, near Peterborough, to the Thomas Deacon Academy, in Queen’s Gardens, and to Peterborough Regional College, in Park Crescent.

However with the new A1139 Junction 8, near Peterborough Garden Park, completed, the city council says the area is safe to be crossed.

Parents say it leaves youngsters with a long walk to school, using the new crossings at Junction 8, which they believe are still dangerous.

Debbie Jackson, of Waltham Walk, Eye, said: “The council provided a bus but they say the new roundabout at Eye is now safe for children to walk to the school.

“But quite a few parents, like me, say that it’s not. I really don’t think it’s safe enough at all.

“All of the new lights down there don’t make a difference, with some cars still going through them. It may not be their fault because they may not have known the lights were there.”

Her 15-year-old son, Luke, only goes to the school after catchment areas were redrawn in 2006 ahead of the school’s opening in 2007.

Children in Eye are traditionally educated at Arthur Mellows Village College, in nearby Glinton.

She said: “We had to go to the school because they changed a catchment area a few years ago.

“We chose Thomas Deacon Academy because at the time the council wouldn’t provide transport to Arthur Mellows Village College.”

Mrs Jackson also said the walk to the school would take too long and would eat into her son’s study time.

She said: “It’s a good hour’s walk from the school to get home, which would then shorten his study time when he gets back from school.”

She also said her son is nervous about using the route.

She said: “A couple of years ago, my son had his bike stolen while out riding during the day. So he’s very nervous about using that route.”

Her views were echoed by Wayne Robson, whose son Jordan (14) would also be left to walk to school.

The 48-year-old, of Beaulieu Court, Eye, is calling on the city council to reverse the move.

He said: “It’s nearly a three-mile walk but it’s not so much about the distance. They have deemed the route safe but I wouldn’t want children crossing the major roundabout.

“I use it and see people jumping the lights all the time. With a group of children walking that way with the big heavy lorries going backwards and forwards, it’s dangerous.”

He added: “It’s one of the major roads in and out of Peterborough. It’s a diabolical decision.”

A city council spokeswoman said a toucan crossing gives people a safe way to cross to Parnwell.

She said: “Children who previously received transport will no longer, from the start of the new term, as the route they need to use is now deemed to be safe and less than three miles.

“Parents of children who are affected have been sent letters informing and details of how they can appeal against the decision if they choose to do so.”