Weston’s MP welcomes Council U-Turn on school transport thanks to people power!

John Penrose, Weston’s MP, has welcomed North Somerset Council’s letter confirming a u-turn to continue providing buses for Churchill school students until at least Easter 2022 as a victory for local people-power and for Councillor Ann Harley, who has been working with John closely to represent local concerns.

John took to Twitter to praise those involved, saying: “it’s a big win for people power; both local parents & District Councillor Ann Harley who’ve campaigned strongly & worked with me closely to make sure pupils can get to school safely “


A full copy of the letter sent to John and local parents is available below:

Update on progress with the safe walking routes and home to school transport

We’re writing to make sure you’re kept up to date on progress with the safe walking route scheme and the arrangements for home to school bus transport.

We are now expecting to continue providing buses until Easter next year. Previously we’d told you that we expected to stop them at the end of this month. Bus services will instead be continuing, and we’ll contact you again when we have a firm date for being able to approve the walking route for use.

If you need to apply for a new or amended application for Home to School Transport in the meantime, we’ll process this in line with the Home to School Transport Policy.

Once we’ve completed our work, we’ll send you a link to a route video to help you and your family familiarise yourselves with it. We’ll also install temporary warning signs where we’ve made changes to the road layout. We’re continuing to offer free Bikeability cycle training for children at Winscombe and Sandford primary schools and Churchill Academy.

Independently of our work to ensure the safe walking route meets the requirements for opening, other works are being carried out in the second half of the year which will impact on the use of the section from Sandford via Thatchers. Therefore, we’ll also keep the home to school transport service going until all this work is completed. In this area we also have longer term plans to provide alternative walking routes.

We’ve also now improved the public transport connections locally. We launched three new public services with connections to Churchill Academy last month and are also offering school pupil only journeys.

Copies of the timetables are available from traveline sw – welcome and here are the route descriptions:

Route 51 / 51s– Weston-super-Mare to Langford
(via Haywood Village, Locking, Banwell, Winscombe and Churchill).

• Monday to Friday service operated by Stagecoach West using a 37-seat
service bus.
• Operating roughly every 2 hours these services will connect into the 991
and 992 feeder services at Langford Post Office.
• Two school pupil only journeys that operate as 51s from Churchill
Academy to Winscombe.

Route 991 – Langford to Wrington and Route 992 – Langford to Blagdon.
• Monday to Friday service operated by Weston & District using a 12-14
seat wheelchair accessible minibus.
• Operating roughly every 2 hours and (alternate hours, so 1 hour will be a
991, the next will be a 992 and so on) and will connect into the 51 service
at Langford (Post Office).
• Two school pupil only journeys that operate as 991s from Churchill
Academy to Winscombe (with one extended to Felton & Winford).
As we’ve said in our previous letters to you, we remain committed to continuing the bus
arrangements until we’re satisfied that we’ve resolved the quality and safety issues of the
walking route.

If you’ve got any queries in the meantime, please get in touch.

Yours sincerely

On behalf of the Integrated Transport Unit
Development & Environment
North Somerset Council