Prime Minister, can you help us get our school buses to Cams Hill School back?

LETTER Cara Rimmer, 15, and fellow pupils protest at the axing of the 610 bus to Cams Hill School.  Picture: Ian Hargreaves (120755-3)
LETTER Cara Rimmer, 15, and fellow pupils protest at the axing of the 610 bus to Cams Hill School. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (120755-3)
The Highfield Campus at the University of Southampton, which is home to the George Thomas Building. Picture: Geograph

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A SCHOOLGIRL has written to the Prime Minister for advice about cuts to two bus services that would penalise dozens of students.

Cara Rimmer, 15, says First Bus’ decision to cancel the 610 and extended 93 service from the Catisfield and Highland areas respectively to Cams Hill School would be ‘disastrous’.

Up to 60 children face longer and more precarious journeys on two buses that would ‘price out’ poor families facing double travel costs, she claims.

Cara, of Hill Park Road, said: ‘I’ve written to David Cameron to ask for his help because we need to find a way to get our service back.

‘At the moment we have a guaranteed, safe journey that gets us to school on time, but that’s all going to change.

‘No-one wants to be standing at a bus stop in the dark in winter – it’s not safe especially for the younger students.

‘The journey on two buses will add at least half an hour to our journey and paying double the fare for two buses instead of one would price out a lot of families.

‘We all want to get into school on time and in the right frame of mind.

‘Many of us are working towards exams and we all care about our education.’

First Bus wrote to Cams Hill last week with news that the 610 service and 93 extension from Fareham bus station would stop on April 23. The firm explained this was because £60,000 annual costs would not be met by the £13,000 they can expect to get in revenue.

David Wilmot, head of Cams Hill, said: ‘It’s an incredibly frustrating situation as this is a service that has run for several years and we were given no prior warning.

‘We’ve been encouraging people to get out of their cars and this service provides a safe and reliable alternative so parents don’t have to worry. I applaud our students for speaking up. I hope they can make a difference.’

A First company spokeswoman said: ‘Should a third party wish to consider supporting an alternative service then we will happily discuss this with them.’

Meanwhile, Cllr Sean Woodward, leader of Fareham Borough Council, has spoken to Hampshire’s head of passenger transport and confirmed they were studying the situation closely to see whether any students would be entitled to statutory home to school transport.

A Downing Street spokesman said Cara’s letter was being processed and she would get a response from either number 10 or the transport secretary.