School service ‘sailing past’ pupils leaving them stranded at bus stop

Vanessa Casey with her daughter Lauren, aged eleven, and her friends Imaan Fazal 11 and Grace Kenyon 11 at the bus stop in Skircoat Green.
Vanessa Casey with her daughter Lauren, aged eleven, and her friends Imaan Fazal 11 and Grace Kenyon 11 at the bus stop in Skircoat Green.

A parent has raised concerns about a school bus service alleging it has on occasion sailed past waiting pupils leaving them at the risk of being stranded and late for school.

The S7 service taking pupils from the Skircoat Green area of Halifax to Ryburn Valley High School at Sowerby Bridge is commissioned by Metro who have contracted the route out to Yorkshire based company Yorkshire Tiger.

Parent John Casey, a firefighter, has complained to Metro that on occasion the bus due to pick pupils up from the stop at the top of St Albans Road, Skircoat Green, at around 8.10am has gone sailing past four or five of them, including his daughter Lauren, since the start of term around six weeks ago. “The first time the bus just drove straight past them but luckily one of the mums was able to take them to school. “The second time I rushed out from my workplace at King Cross and stood there with them. It was a double decker, said ‘not in service’ and just drove straight past them.

“I had just finished work, put them in the car and off to school where I asked the driver nicely why he hadn’t stopped.

“He said he slowed down but nobody put their hand out. I said that was rubbish because it was displaying ‘not in service’ on the front of the bus. The policy is just put your hand out but I challenged that and said because it is a special service that has about ten stops the driver should stop at every stop,” he said, adding there had been an issue on one occasion where it was doubtful a bus was available for a Wednesday return journey, though eventually one was sent.

Simon Finnie, managing director for Yorkshire Tiger said: “We have not received any complaints about our bus drivers not stopping on the morning S7 route to Ryburn Valley High School. Our drivers will always make every effort to pick up pupils at the designated stops along the route. Pupils do need to provide their S7 bus pass to travel, otherwise our drivers can refuse travel.”

A West Yorkshire Combined Authority (Metro) spokesperson said: “We were concerned to hear of this issue and are speaking to Mr Casey, Ryburn Valley High School and Tiger Bus to ensure it is resolved.”