Bus company makes changes after being told off by headteacher for making her pupils late (From Southend Standard)
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Bus company makes changes after being told off by headteacher for making her pupils late
6:10am Wednesday 30th October 2013 in News
A CAMPAIGNING headteacher persuaded a bus company to make changes because her pupils were arriving late.
Changes to First and Arriva services came in in April and for months pupils at Southend High School for Girls, in Southchurch Boulevard, have been struggling to get into school for 8.30am.
Many travel from outside Southend by train, from as far as Brentwood, and use buses to get from Southend Victoria and Southend Central.
Students from Leigh have also had difficulty after the number 27 First bus stopped travelling along Southchurch Road, instead terminating at Southend bus station.
The situation was exacerbated by the new number 28 service, running past the school, only operating on an “occasional basis”.
Pupils relied on the Arriva number 1 bus to be on time.
Often it was full leaving Southend Victoria, or left before the train arrived.
Headteacher Alison Clewlow said: “There has been a huge furore from parents because the children have been getting in late.
“If they are late three times, they get detention and some parents felt this was unfair because the bus was full as pupils got off the train.
“They already get up so early and think it worthwhile to travel all this way for school, but they couldn’t really get up any earlier.
“I wrote to Arriva to say its causing problems in school. I also encouraged parents to write to complain.”
It seems people power worked as Arriva announced changes to alleviate the problems.
Richard Lewis, Arriva’s regional publicity manager, said “We are aware of the problems that some children have experienced in getting to school and have written to the head teacher and to those parents who had sent us complaints.
“From November 17, we are increasing the number of Service 1 buses to give a ten-minute daytime frequency.
“This change will include an extra bus that passes by Southend Victoria Rail Station after 8am.”
The new timetable is available online at www.arrivabus.co.uk/ southend
* Since this item appeared, Mr Lewis has asked us to publish this statement:
"While it is true that we are making changes to our Service 1 on November 17 that will address the problems mentioned and improve reliability, the alterations that we are introducing on that date were registered with the Traffic Commissioner on September 19 and are part of a commercial decision to increase the frequency of the service throughout the day, not as a result of any contact from the headteacher.
2The first contact that we had from Mrs Clewlow was in her letter of 10th October, some three weeks after the new timetable had been sent to the Traffic Commissioner."
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