‘Four buses and a ten-hour day just to get to school’ says Mum after Isle of Wight school bus scrapped

The Isle of Wight council have scrapped a West Wight school bus meaning secondary students face starting their journey to school at 6.30am and still not arriving in time

cowes college students at bus stop

Release issued on behalf of Families of the Freshwater to Cowes school bus students. Ed

Parents and families in the West Wight who have had their school bus completely withdrawn, are urging Southern Vectis to ensure that a promised extra bus service is in place ready for the start of term in three weeks’ time.

Over 48 students at Cowes Enterprise College live in Freshwater, Totland, Colwell, Yarmouth, Shalfleet and surrounding villages and have relied on a designated school bus for many years, through paying the IW Council £390 a year for their seats. But the Council have now withdrawn the service entirely, leaving children stranded in the West Wight and facing 6.30am journey starts which still won’t get them to College on time.

Cowes Enterprise College students at bus stop in Yarmouth

Southern Vectis have hinted that they will provide their “own dedicated school buses”, but time is running out and no service has yet been published.

Kefford: Son now faces an arduous journey
Claire Kefford, with her son Noah going into Year 8, said,

“There is no High School in the West Wight.

“Every single child around here has to travel on the roads to get to school, and the school buses are a lifeline. But there are no public buses from Freshwater to Cowes for us to choose to take.

“My son now faces an arduous journey of four buses and a ten-hour day just to get to school, which is really going to badly impact his ability to study.”

Cowes Enterprise College students at bus stop in Totland

Mitchell: Please, Southern Vectis, support the people of the West Wight
Sam Mitchell and her daughter Bess in Year 11 continued,

“Families in the West Wight cannot be left behind: the school buses are a vital service for our local community, especially as our children return to school safely for the first time since March.

“Working parents need the school bus to Cowes to support our return to work, and Islanders want to see cars being taken off the road at rush hour to ease traffic congestion.

“Please, Southern Vectis, support the people of the West Wight and ensure that a bus will be available for all our children to get to school on time.”

Find out more
Families affected by the withdrawal of the Freshwater to Cowes school bus are urged to get in touch with other parents via Facebook by requesting to join the group “304 School Bus predicament”.

Wednesday, 12th August, 2020 8:33am


ShortURL: http://wig.ht/2nRc

Filed under: Bus, Education, Isle of Wight Council, Isle of Wight News, Top story, Travel, Youth

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24 Comments on "‘Four buses and a ten-hour day just to get to school’ says Mum after Isle of Wight school bus scrapped"

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“The Isle of Wight council have scrapped a West Wight school bus”

Really? How do they justify that? This Tory led IW Council becomes more of a basket case every day it seems.

Jenny Smart

Conservatives, protecting the future of our children.

Don’t forget to vote for your Conservative Cllr in the forthcoming local election


You’ve certainly got the wrong surname Jenny… unless that is supposed to be a joke. Otherwise, given the article you replied to… it’s just insulting!


It’s called irony you see.


It was clearly a sarcastic comment.


Dave and his chums have probably spaffed the money up the wall trying to fix the floating bridge instead.

Having just read the above on school buses for the west wight being removed has just confirmed what I have known about this council for some time, not one of them has a brain cell between them , that also applies to there officers , they are prepared to spend unlimited amounts of money on the chain bridge and St Marys roundabout but not to pay for… Read more »

An ever depletion of public services, yet still they build new homes in the West Wight. The council and developers obviously don’t have local families in mind for these homes do they


Breaking the Southern Vectis monopoly would be a good start.

Just another episode in the ongoing shambolic saga of education on the Island. This is the latest unintended outcome of various policies of both govenment and council. You only have to look at the most recent debacle surrounding the closure of one West Wight primary school to understand that the council neither has a clue nor indeed cares. As a former resident of West Wight many years… Read more »

This beggars belief following the fiascos of the floating bridge. How do the council justify their action regarding the school bus; what are the people of the west wight getting for their rates?
Like all of us not very much !!


It makes you wonder why we bother to pay taxes.


fedupbritain you pay taxes so the corrupt Tory’s can ferret as much as possible away into the pockets of their corporate friends, who then donate to the Conservative party, to keep the bonanza going.


Labour just as corrupt. Politicians are either dumb, vain, sleazy, or bent. Often a mix of all 4 ingredients. Look at our MP.


Where can Labour show anything comparable to the massive scams of Brexit (ferry companies with no ferries and pizza delivery Ts&Cs) or PPE for coronavirus? See Jolyon Maugham QC on Twitter earlier this week.

From above, 48 students travelling from West Wight to Cowes return, once per school day, pay the IW council £390 per year = £18,720. Divide by the no, of school days of around 190 days per year = £98 per day. Does it cost that amount for the coach return journey? Perhaps the families involved could consider getting together and hire their own private coach service for… Read more »

Good point. But does not detract from the issue that there should be school transport provided in cases where distance precludes walking to school.


I agree, but I doubt that it will alter the choice of the council.

@wellsm. Yes and no. I understand the current rule is free transport to the nearest school which Cowes is not. Parents can choose to send their kids to any school but then become responsible for getting them there. BUT (and it is a big but!) with the rules on choosing schools and home to school transport changing over the years, parents can be left high and dry… Read more »
Mark L Francis

Perhaps they have not been to Church enough.


I doubt these parents would be allowed to transfer their children to Carisbrooke now, even if they wanted to because it would disrupt their education. It would probably be too late for this year. So there is no way out of this situation except to transport them to school themselves, hire transport, or take the Council to court for unreasonable behaviour.


Incompetence abounds in the Dear Leaders ruling clique.


I used to have a similarly long journey to school & back in the 1970s, I used the time to do my homework in.

Lifewriterbutmainlybeer has worked out that the 48 students would produce £18,720 er year and reasons someone would work for that wage which is true. However he unfortunately didn’t take into account that if the driver were selfemployed he’d also need to buy his own coach, buy petrol, take out public liability insurance etc and pay to keep his coach in good repair. Then he’d have to pay… Read more »