VOTE: Should Selsey’s late night bus service be spared the axe?

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A Selsey secondary school has criticised West Sussex County Council’s decision to axe its late bus service – along with nine other schools – to save £70,000 a year.

The cuts to the services are to be implemented at the end of the 2011 summer term, following a decision by Cllr Peter Griffiths, cabinet member for education and schools.

Manhood Community College said about a fifth of its pupils use the bus service, which takes pupils home on weekdays at 4pm after extra-curricular activities.

Head teacher Vicky Wright said: “It is a very thorny issue for our students.

“We would have to fund the service ourselves because young people must have equal opportunities when choosing extra-curricular activities.”

Mrs Wright said axeing the service would also affect older pupils who attend later classes to revise for their GCSE exams.

A county council cabinet report said the buses served schools with rural catchment areas where public transport services were not available at the times needed.

“Traditionally the service has been provided by the county council, although it is not a statutory provision,” it added.

No other local authority had been identified where a service was provided free, as it had been in West Sussex.

Other schools affected by the cuts are: Midhurst Rother College, Imberhorne School, Forest School, Millais School, Tanbridge House School, Rydon Community College, Steyning Grammar School, Weald School and Westergate Community College.

Do you think the schools’ bus service should be saved?

Cast your vote by clicking on the poll at the top right of this story.

Alternatively, email your views to letters@chiobserver.co.uk