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Parent raises fears over students' 'unsafe' route home from Boston College

By East Lindsey Target  |  Posted: October 23, 2012

Lincolnshire County Council says it is not obliged to provide a home to college service for those over 16 and cannot accommodate all individual routes

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A PARENT from Wainfleet All Saints has expressed concerns about the current transport arrangements for students attending Boston College.

The man, who asked to remain anonymous, said his 17-year-old daughter is now expected to walk a 1.5-mile route from the bus stop on the A52 along Boston Road back to the town.

In previous years, a special service had been laid on for students making the journey which picked them up at Wainfleet Market Place and took them straight to the door of Boston College and vice versa, but now students are left to get a regular service bus which drops students at Boston bus station and in the evening drops off on the A52.

The man told the Target: "I was told the policy is as long as it's less than three miles they can walk.

"Last year they were picked up at Wainfleet and taken into the college grounds and did the same on the way back, dropping them back at the Market Place.

"This year there is a 4.15pm bus which drops back at the Market Place but this is no good as college doesn't end until 4.30pm.

"They have to get the 5.15pm bus which drops them off near Fred the Shed on the A52 and they have to walk down the road, over the railway line into Wainfleet.

"This is dimly lit and in the past the area has been known for people who use drugs and it's leaving 16 and 17-year-olds in a vulnerable position, especially with winter coming up."

The man the Target spoke to is currently recovering from a major operation and is usually able to pick his daughter, and her friends, up from the A52 but this won't be possible when he returns to work later this year.

He said: "My daughter did a one year course last year and has just started a two year course.

"I was told because they are 16, Lincolnshire County Council doesn't take into account environment or road conditions.

"It's the safety aspect that I don't think is right. What's it going to take, one of them to get abducted or injured?"

LCC says it is not obliged to provide a home to college service for those over 16 and cannot accommodate all individual routes.

David Robinson, school services manager, said: "Home to college transport for children over 16 is not a statutory service that we have to provide, but this council does provide support for students to their nearest college.

"Last year we contracted a bus to take a number of students to Boston College, but these numbers have dropped off significantly so students now use a local bus service. Whilst we recognise the difficulties for access on some roads, we expect those students aged 16 and over to get to bus stops or use their family to help them.

"We are still providing this student with transport from the nearest bus stop on the route – just under 1.5 miles away – to Boston.

"Post-16 home to college transport costs the council £4m a year as part of £26m funding support we provide for home to school transport – a huge commitment in the present financial climate with reduced funding from government."

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