A SOLUTION has been proposed after two school run bus services from Llandudno Junction and Deganwy were suspended.

Ian Gerrard, headteacher at Ysgol Aberconwy, wrote to parents in August to say it had become ‘clear’ during the course of the year, as a result of Covid-19 and changes in disability access legislation, that the school would no longer be able to provide the transport at a competitive cost and governors had taken the decision to suspend the service ‘indefinitely’.

The news, that the service would be halting, which was funded by ticket sales to students and is not subsided by the school or the local authority, prompted parents to create Facebook group Ysgol Aberconwy School Bus Campaign.

Janet Finch-Saunders, MS for Aberconwy, has lent her support and lines of communications were opened enabling parent Clare Byron to meet with Mr Gerrard to discuss alternative possibilities.

One of these is for parents to sign up a bus service that pupils will use all year round; if all seats are not sold, the service will stop. The service(s) will be run by Alpine and will cost students £350 per year - described as a ‘significant increase’.

Whether they can be introduced now depends on how many parents apply to use the service.

An Ysgol Aberconwy spokesperson said: “The school has organised bus transport from the Llandudno Junction and Deganwy areas over recent years, after the original service was withdrawn back in 2014. This has been funded by the families who use it, through ticket sales.

“The provision and cost of this service has been uncertain this year due to a number of factors including the current Covid-19 pandemic as well as decreasing demand.

“We are pleased that we have been able to work with parents to discuss these issues openly and to find solutions that are agreeable to all concerned and which will mean that students can continue to come to school safely for the foreseeable future.”

Ms Saunders, who has written out to both the school and education Services at Conwy County Borough Council, said: “I was most pleased to facilitate an opening of communications between the local parents and the school, as well as writing out to the Education Service of Conwy County Borough Council. I believe that the proposed solution is a sensible middle ground and I will continue to work with local parents to ensure that everything runs as smoothly as possible.

“This situation will need careful and consistent monitoring to ensure that no child is left without access to school transport. Having endured significant personal disruption over recent months due to the international pandemic, I trust that this proposed solution will ensure that local children will no longer face the burden of transport concerns as the new academic year commences.

“I do wish to pay tribute to the parents group, led by Clare Byron, as well as Ian Gerrard at Ysgol Aberconwy, for how these parties have come together in a virtual forum to ensure that local students would be able to travel to school safely.

“It is heartwarming to see how such innovative community spirit has come to resolve a situation which caused unnecessary anguish.”

The deadline for application was September 7. It is understood this deadline is being extended / an extension has been requested.