Long Crendon schoolchildren have been given a rather unusual New Years present from Bucks County Council - an extra 55 minutes added on to their morning school bus commute.
This means for some children, they will be spending potentially more than two and-a-half hours a day sat on the bus getting to and from school, working out at an extra 300 hours of travelling over the year.
The service, which used to take just 35 minutes, takes children from Long Crendon to Aylesbury Grammar, Aylesbury High and Sir Henry Floyd Grammar schools. The new proposed route will take 86 minutes, increasing the journey time by a whopping 245%.
A letter posted to Bucks County Council from the parents outlined “unnacceptable” changes to the previous route, with incorrect information provided by the council about the new routes.
The letter says: “It is difficult to understand how anybody responsible involved in providing public services can believe that adding seven and-a-half hours travelling time to a school child’s week is something they would even contemplate.”
The group of parents protesting the changes have argued that the county council has misled them in a letter delivered on December 1.
Mike Appleyard, cabinet member for education and skills, said that as soon as parents had raised questions and concerns about the proposed new school bus route serving the Long Crendon area, an urgent revision had been ordered.
He said: “I hope parents will accept my apologies for any concern and frustration with the original proposed change.
“For the time being, we’ve introduced an extra bus that will take a more direct route to the schools in Aylesbury, and we’ll take another look at our proposal for the Long Crendon area.”