Schoolchildren stranded on first day back

Kirkland High School
Kirkland High School

Schoolchildren were left stranded at bus stops across Levenmouth on the first day back at school last week, because of a mix-up with buses.

Many of the school bus routes and timetables have changed since last term but a number of local parents claim they were never informed of the changes.

One parent said her son, who was starting his first year at Kirkland High School last Wednesday, had headed to the usual bus stop for the 8.30a.m. bus.

However, when it did not turn up, the driver of a bus bound for Mountfleurie Primary School told him the timetable had changed and the bus had already left, at 8.20 p.m.

The local mum, who asked not to be named, said: “I phoned the school to inform them the kids would be late and asked if they knew if the times had been changed and they said no. According to them, buses were still the same.

“Then I phoned the bus station and they said yes, Fife Council did change the times and did not inform the schools or the kids.”

A staff member at the Stagecoach depot in Aberhill confirmed to the Mail that those children who received a free bus pass should have received a letter informing them that changes may have been made and to visit the Fife Direct website for more information.

However, children not entitled to a free bus pass may not have been informed.

Staff at the depot said they had contacted the schools to let them know of the changes so that parents and children could be informed.

On the East Fife Mail Facebook page, several other parents and residents reported problems with the services, even after the first day back at school, and reported that children headed for Mountfleurie Primary School and St Andrew’s High School in Kirkcaldy had also been affected.

Tracy McCain said she was “absolutely raging” about Fife Council’s attitude to the situation, while Michelle Allan said it was shocking to read other comments from parents whose children had been left waiting at bus stops.

However, Claire Hall Smith said letters were given out along with bus passes to tell parents about the changes.

Responding to parents’ claims they were not told of the changes to the school bus services, Gary Moyes, lead professional for bus newtork planning and information said: “The school bus contract for central Fife has recently been re-tendered, with the new contract starting at the start of term. “All schools in central Fife were informed before the end of last term that there would be changes to school bus timetables as a result of the new contract.”

He added: “Schools were asked to pass information to pupils to check any changes to bus routes on before schools went back after the holidays.

“Letters were then also issued with new bus passes reminding parents that changes were very likely to affect their child’s bus service and to check the website for new times and stopping points.”