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Bus company warned timetable preventing pupils getting to King's Lynn schools on time

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A bus company is under fire over claims its revised timetable is preventing some pupils from getting to school on time following the return to lessons yesterday.

At least one parent has raised concerns about provision on the 505 route to and from Lynn with the operator, Stagecoach.

But the firm says it is keeping journeys under review and has increased service provision in its latest timetables.

Stagecoach is under fire from bus passengers in South Holland unhappy with the reliability of the 505 Spalding-King's Lynn service. (19997095)
Stagecoach is under fire from bus passengers in South Holland unhappy with the reliability of the 505 Spalding-King's Lynn service. (19997095)

The 505, which runs between Lynn and Spalding, is the main service bringing pupils and commuters into the town from villages such as Walpole Cross Keys, Terrington St Clement and Clenchwarton.

Although there were as many as three services per hour prior to the coronavirus crisis, there is currently only one per hour most days, as the firm, like many transport operators, has had to adjust to reduced demand during the pandemic.

At present, the earliest weekday journey arrives at Lynn’s bus station at 8.31am.

But there are concerns that doesn’t allow students enough time to then get to the town’s secondary schools.

One parent who contacted the Lynn News, but asked not to be identified, said her daughter relied on an earlier 505 journey, which is currently not operating, to get to the Springwood High School in Lynn and she could not drive her because of her own work commitments

She said: “I do understand that it may not be possible to run a full service during restrictions but I would imagine student and staff safety would be paramount at this time.

“As the government have very clearly said all students must return after the 8th I find it a little difficult to understand why the bus company would not reinstate a single bus.

Springwood officials said they have held talks with the bus company and are hopeful that there will be “a satisfactory resolution imminently.”

A Stagecoach spokesman said: “We are increasing the number of buses operating local services in readiness for the return of schools and colleges across our region. We have worked closely with local authority transport officers to agree the revised timetables.

“Service 505 from Spalding is timed to arrive into Kings Lynn at 0831hrs to enable local people to reach employment and education.

“Some earlier journeys have not yet been reinstated although all bus services continue to be kept under review as we follow Department for Transport guidance towards post COVID-19 recovery.”

Stagecoach was the borough’s main bus operators after it bought Norfolk Green in 2013, but pulled out of most of its routes, retaining the 505, in early 2018.

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