Drayton parents overturn refusal of free school bus

Herald Series: Jacquie Cook, left, Karen Sharman, right, and pupills celebrate Jacquie Cook, left, Karen Sharman, right, and pupills celebrate

PARENTS at an Abingdon school who protested after council leaders cut their children’s free bus travel have won their appeal.

Oxfordshire County Council stopped the free service from Drayton to John Mason School in January when the three-mile journey was classed safe to walk.

About 20 parents, who took their case to the education authority’s Appeal Panel, said an unlit one-mile stretch of Abingdon Road was dangerous for youngsters.

Under national guidelines, free school travel should be available from the council where the home-to-school distance is more than three miles or there is no safe walking route.

Mum-of-three Jacquie Cook, 43, of Sutton Wick Lane, Drayton, said she was delighted by the decision. Her son Seth is a pupil at the school in Wootton Road and his brother Reece, 11, is due to start there in September.

She said: “We faced paying £240 each a year for Seth and Reece to get the bus.

“The decision was placing a strain on families and not just a financial one.”

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