The Rushden Echo, 9th December 1966, transcribed by Jim Hollis
School bus services under fire
Many youngsters who live on Rushden’s Court Estate have to wait fifty minutes for a bus home from Newton Road after school. Younger children have a wait of 40 minutes, and although they are able to stay in a classroom with a teacher until their bus arrives they are arriving home “miserable and exhausted.”
Court Estate parents are very anxious about the situation and one angry mother, Mrs. P. V. Harris 174 Avenue Road, has complained about the service to the United Counties Bus Company.
Mrs. Harris, who has a child starting school at Easter, has written to the bus company pointing out that a bus leaves the depot for the Court Estate at 4.06pm, which is too early for school children from Rushden secondary schools for boys and girls to catch.
They have to wait outside the depot there is no bus shelter provided until 4.50, unless they choose to walk the two miles and a half home.
Waiting for the bus
Mrs. Harris pointed out that this was out of the question in the winter as there were no lights in the upper part of Newton Road and no footpath.
Mrs. Harris is also very worried about the effect of the bus service on the smaller children of Newton Road Primary and Junior Schools. The children officially finish their lessons at 3.30, but there is no bus available to take them home until the 4.06 pm bus from the depot arrives at the school at 4.10. The children are however, allowed to wait in one of the classrooms with a teacher until the bus arrives, and they arrive home at 4.30 pm.
Mrs. Harris says that the mothers of these five to seven-year-old children have found them so tired when they arrive home that they are just given tea and put to bed.
Court Estate residents have also experienced difficulties with the lateness of the morning bus which takes girls and boys to the Wellingborough Grammar and High Schools. The bus leaves the court estate at 8. 45am. and the pupils at the two Wellingborough schools are late each morning.
Mrs. D. Archer, 180 Avenue Road, said the extra half-hour or so in school for very young children could be very tiring.
One pupil was unable to become form captain because he arrived too late each morning to carry out his duties.
To add to the troubles of the Court Estate parents, said Mrs. Harris, there is no bus until 6 pm on Wednesdays after the 4.06 pm service from the depot, and parents had to arrange to have their children picked up in cars.
Mrs. Harris received a reply to her letter from United Counties which stated: “The journeys to which you refer form part of a contract arrangement with the Northamptonshire County Council Education Committee, and therefore we are not at liberty in making any alterations without further consulting them.”
A spokesman for the County Council said the service had been in operation for about twenty years and he was not aware of any problems. He felt it was not unreasonable for the children of the primary school to wait inside the school with a teacher until the bus arrived.
He understood that on Wednesdays the secondary school children were allowed to leave school at 3.45 especially to catch the 4.06 bus from the depot.