23rd Jan, 2018

Westwood Academy students could face hour delay following school as 360 service scrapped

Shaun Reynolds 3rd Sep, 2016 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

CONCERNED parents and councillors in Woodlands Ward are planning to launch a petition against the West Midlands Combined Authority’s decision to scrap a city bus service.

The 360 bus service previously linked Woodlands with the rest of the city – providing residents with easy access to destinations including Walsgrave, Jaguar Land Rover, Warwick University, Tile Hill and the Ricoh Arena.

However the decision to scrap the service by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) in July has left parents concerned that students could face a long wait before reaching home after the school day.

A new structure of three individual bus routes will mean Westwood Academy students, who typically finish their lessons at 3.10pm, will have just eight minutes to catch the 3.18pm bus.

With services running from the school every hour, it is feared dozens of pupils will face either a long walk home or a lengthy wait with up to 90 students living in the CV5 postcode area.

And now, parents and councillors of Woodlands ward are calling on the WMCA to see a new proposal introduced that runs in line with the school day.

Supporting the campaign, Coun Gary Ridley told The Observer the WMCA should be helping Coventry, not scrapping valuable bus services.

He added: “I don’t understand how this decision is improving the lives of people living in Coventry.

“There’s a lot of concern among residents but we’ll have to wait and see to know what the full impact of cutting the service will be.

“I’ve spoke to parents who have expressed concern and would prefer the 360 to continue.

“To add to that, I have had elderly residents contact me concerned about how they are going to travel to University Hospital – a crucial stopping point on the 360 service.

“I’m disappointed this decision has been made, schoolchildren and parents will be affected massively.”

Mr Ridley has considered starting a petition to call on the WMCA to re-consider their decision to scrap the bus service which carried 13,949 passengers in October 2015.

He said: “With children returning to school in September we’re calling for an urgent review of these arrangements.

“Why should students face an uncertain start to the new school term as a result of a decision made by someone sitting in Birmingham.”

The 360 service – which served its last passengers on Saturday (July 23) – has been replaced by the 43, 60 and 61 services which break up the original route.

Jon Hayes, head of network delivery for transport for the West Midlands, said the replacement services have been designed to give the best value and reflect the demand of the travelling public.

He added: “The Number 360 was withdrawn because as a subsidised route it was failing to attract enough passengers to justify continuing to receive public money.”

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