PARENTS and teachers are worried cuts to bus services between Swindon and Marlborough could cause problems for children going to St John’s School.

A new timetable for Service 80 will take effect on August 4.

And parents whose children travel from Swindon to attend the school have voiced their concerns because several journeys are being removed, including one during school times.

Mum Jane Beaumont said: “Although my child is not yet at the stage of using it, I’m concerned for friends’ children and the future bus provision to those of us who are equidistant to out of catchment schools than the ones in Swindon Borough Council.

“I would want my seven year-old-son to stay with his year group friends. It seems crazy to stop those particular times when we are all being told to use public transport and it’s usually the first taste of independence and growing up that our children get.”

Karen Bosher took to social media to air her worry. “Our daughter starts at St Johns in September, not sure what we are going to do now,” she said.

A letter from St John’s school has been sent to parents to inform them of the changes.

It tells them: “We are concerned about the potential impact on students however and intend to do what we can to try and influence this potential decision. In order to do so we need to understand the scale of the issue.”

A Stagecoach spokeswoman said: “The timetable for service 80 will change following a review by Wiltshire Council who fund the route.

“We have worked with them to devise a new timetable, taking into consideration the continued decline in passenger numbers on this service.

“We can confirm that of the journeys removed there is one in the morning and afternoon and a few on the Saturday. We will continue to work WC to respond to any customer feedback regarding the withdrawn journeys.”

Swindon South MP Robert Buckland said: “Borough councillor Jenny Jefferies and I are talking to SBC, Wiltshire Council, and Stagecoach bus at a senior level to try and find a way through this and maintain a service in the mornings.

“It seems that since Wiltshire Council stopped subsiding the number 80 as a school service to St Johns for catchment children along the A346 and used their own contracted buses, the viability has been reduced significantly.”

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