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Students at All Saints Catholic School ‘face a wait of 45 minutes’ to get a bus home

PUBLISHED: 16:00 01 October 2018 | UPDATED: 10:39 04 October 2018

Pupils were left waiting outside packed school buses for 45 minutes. Picture: All Saints Catholic School.

Pupils were left waiting outside packed school buses for 45 minutes. Picture: All Saints Catholic School.

All Saints Catholic School

Secondary school pupils say they continue to face bus delays getting home since the start of the new term despite holding a protest against poor services in July.

Students at All Saints Catholic School in Wood Lane, Dagenham, face waits of up to 45 minutes due to a lack of buses that serve the area once lessons are over, it is claimed.

Last week the school tweeted a photo of students standing outside the Becontree Heath bus station, unable to get on to the bus.

Nick Pauro, a teacher at the school, claims they have raised the issue with Transport for London (TfL) on a number of separate occasions asking for changes for more than a year.

He claims that TfL replied to him stating they were happy to meet the school council in September to address their concerns but that they were unable to accommodate other requests because TfL lacked sufficient funding from central government.

In July this year the school carried out a survey with pupils about the experiences with the local bus service which attracted more than 800 responses.

That led them to hold a protest in a desperate attempt for their voices to be heard.

Mr Pauro said: “Our school councillors and their peers protested at Becontree Heath bus stops in early July in response to Transport for London’s reply to their requests made by letter a month earlier, co-signed by Bishop Alan of Brentwood (Catholic) and Bishop Hill of Barking (Church of England).”

In a subsequent letter written to TfL, the school asked for a new more frequent timetable, improved street railings, a zebra crossing and a countdown timer so they knew when a bus was due.

Head of bus business development at TfL, Tom Cunnington said: “We know the buses around All Saints School and the nearby Robert Clack school are very popular at home time, which is why we recently made improvements to them.

“These changes included boosting the capacity of a nearby route and changing the EL2 to start at All Saints school.

“We are now reviewing local bus routes to better understand the scale of demand now the new school year has started to see how we could address any crowding.”

 

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