PUPILS catching a bus to school will have to walk more than half a mile, crossing a busy road, after changes to bus services.
Both First Bus services x88 and 88 currently run from Gosport Ferry to Fareham via Bay House School, in Gomer Lane.
But will they be replaced by a new service – the number 9 – which will no longer stop at the school, meaning that pupils from Fareham, Bridgemary and Rowner will have to get off at Privett Road at rush hour, more than half a mile away from the school.
Ian Potter, headmaster at Bay House, is concerned for the welfare of pupils and staff. He said: ‘There are implications for members of staff and students crossing over a busy road.
‘That’s my greatest concern but also when the weather is very inclement.’
Mr Potter made clear that he is not against pupils getting exercise.
‘I’m not concerned about youngsters walking,’ he said.
As previously reported in The News, First Bus will implement new routes across the area.
The company held a roadshow in Gosport High Street last month to talk to passengers about their concerns and to publicise the benefits of the revamped routes.
But bus users across Gosport were angry about the changes, which begin on Sunday, November 18.
Staff at the school have written to councillors at Gosport Borough Council, as they are unhappy with the changes.
Mr Potter said: ‘I’m surprised the bus company has made the decision without any consultation with the school.
‘I don’t know whether it’s possible to have a detour to Bay House at the beginning and end of the day.
‘I regret their decision to change the route.’
First Bus say the new four, five and six services will serve pupils from Gosport town and Lee-on-the-Solent, when the 88 is replaced.
Karen Baxter, a spokeswoman for First, said: ‘Our team is currently looking at what amendments it may be possible to make to ensure that students travelling from Rowner are able to use local bus services when travelling to and from Bay House.
‘This may involve diverting a bus from a nearby route at various times of the day to ensure that the school is served.
‘The team is looking into this as a high priority.’