Family facing £450 bus bill

Hayley Worboys with Central Beds councillor Adam Zerny. PNL-140731-154624001
Hayley Worboys with Central Beds councillor Adam Zerny. PNL-140731-154624001

A family has been left facing a bill of £150 per term to get their daughter to school.

Hayley Worboys, who lives in Newtown in Potton, has been told by Central Beds Council that she must pay £149.80 for a bus pass to Stratton Upper in Biggleswade.

They say the cost is because the catchment school for Potton is Sandy Upper – which is just 0.1mile further away. But Hayley said the potential charge was not made clear when the family picked the school.

She added: “The bus goes past our house and picks up at the end of my road. Children living in the road just around the corner get a free bus pass.

“We are struggling now to put food on the table, I don’t know where to find £150.”

Independent Central Beds councillor for Potton Adam Zerny said: “To have such an unduly complicated system to decide whether a resident is eligible for a bus pass is ridiculous.

“If you pay the same council tax as your neighbours and are applying for a school within your catchment area, the bus pass should be free.”

Cllr Mark Versallion at Central Beds said: “There are some specific areas, however, which are closer to Stratton Upper, so where a request is made for transport to Stratton Upper the council takes measurements from the home to the school and where Sandy Upper is closer, free transport to Stratton is not provided.

“The council makes it very clear in the original school place offer letter to parents that they will be responsible for transport if they choose to send their child to a school which is neither their catchment school or the nearest school.”