Cash-strapped parents face making their children change schools as the council cancels religious primary schools’ bus services at the end of term.
A worried single mum-of- two, who does not wish to be named, said parents at St Margaret’s Primary School at Farley Hill were informed during the summer holidays that they would have to start paying £130 a term towards the school bus service.
The day before term started, the council “dropped the bombshell” that the service would be cancelled entirely.
The concerned mother said: “I don’t drive so my daughter will have to get a public bus, but I can’t let her travel alone.
For a weekly pass for both of us it will cost £30 a week which I just can’t afford.
“I was told by the council I would have to take my daughter out of school and move her elsewhere, which I don’t want to do when she’s in her final year of primary school. She’s been at the same school since she was three years old.”
The family have moved further away from the school in recent years and the mum said her daughter was “very upset” when she told her she might have to change schools.
She said: “It just makes me angry. They’ve spent millions on that busway which is over budget but they can’t afford school buses for our children.
“They’ve done the same for Cardinal Newman but at least the kids there are older and can walk or cycle to school themselves. I’ll have to take my daughter on the bus which is hours out of my day and will prevent me from going back to work too.
“A lot of people are suffering financially at the moment, there’s going to be many parents who are going to have to take their children out of school.
“It’s so disruptive to the children, and the bus driver is gutted. It’s such a shame.”
A Luton Borough Council spokesman said: “The council no longer funds discretionary transport on denominational grounds. The council will continue to run buses to St Margaret of Scotland Primary School until the end of the autumn term.
“However, parents wishing to use this service will be charged. The council will not be running the school buses to St Margaret of Scotland Primary School from January onwards and are in discussion with school staff regarding an external provider running this service.”