Three school bus routes for Winterbourne Academy saved by cash from housing developers

BUSES used by children attending Winterbourne Academy have been saved after South Gloucestershire Council struck a deal with operator Stagecoach.

Families living in Coalpit Heath, Frampton Cotterell, Hambrook, Frenchay, Downend and Fishponds were among those sent letters in June by head teacher Jenny Cartwright, warning that the future of services was in doubt from September because of funding issues.

The affected services were the 460 from Coalpit Heath and Frampton, the 427 from Frenchay via Hambrook, the 458 from Fishponds via Downend, the 459 from Emersons Green and Lyde Green via Blackhorse and Bromley Heath, and the 936 from Patchway, Bradley Stoke and Little Stoke.

Four of the services are run by Stagecoach, with the other run by Transpora.

Now the council has said the 427, 459 and 460 will run for another year after it “stepped-in and found a solution to keep them running”, using funds paid by developers as part of planning deals.

The authority said it would “will work with partners to look at options” for the 458 and 936.

Council cabinet member for infrastructure Chris Willmore said: “The scrapping of these services would have resulted in significant disruption for the many children who use them to get to school safely throughout the year.

“I am pleased that we were able to find a solution to fund them as it is vitally important that that children can continue to get to school.

“We are also looking at solutions with other services under pressure, so it is important that we work together to try and keep the wheels turning on bus routes that provide a transport lifeline in our communities.

“Buses reduce car journeys at busy periods and help to reduce our overall carbon footprint.”