COMPLAINTS have been made about a school bus service after a number of pupils were refused a seat.

Children travelling from Radcliffe to Unsworth Academy and Philips High School have experienced problems accessing the Yellow School Bus.

In response to concerns, Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) is understood to have replaced the Yellow Bus with a new double-decker service to increase capacity.

Mother Vicki Clark said her 12-year-old daughter, a Year 8 pupil at Unsworth Academy, has been refused a place on the bus on three occasions in the past two weeks.

Mrs Clark, of Bolton Road, Radcliffe, said: "My daughter was not allowed on the bus on Monday because she did not have a yellow bus pass — a pass I have not been able to get because my application was declined due to the service being full. She has been catching the bus fine since September.

"I find it incredibly concerning that a school bus would turn away a child and that there isn’t a contingency plan for the children if the school transport arrangements break down.

"As parents we are forced to send our children further afield due to the lack of a high school in Radcliffe. Surely more should be offered to ensure our children can get there safely."

Mrs Clark, aged 38, said she has contacted the school and Shaw Education Trust about her concerns. She said she is currently unable to drive her daughter to school because of suffering a brain haemorrhage, cannot afford to pay for taxis and does not feel it is safe for her 12-year-old daughter to travel alone on public bus services.

Another mother Victoria Morrison has issued a formal complaint to TfGM after her 15-year-old son was refused a place on the bus last month despite holding a weekly bus ticket.

Mrs Morrison, who lives in Radcliffe, contacted the Mayor of Greater Manchester, MP Ivan Lewis, Unsworth Academy, where her son is a pupil, Shaw Education Trust and ward councillors, calling for action.

She said: “My son was told he needed a Yellow Bus Pass. He didn’t have any money on him and so he had no choice but to walk home, which was more than four miles. In hindsight, I’m sure the school would have helped but the problem was we had not been informed.

“Apparently the yellow passes were introduced in September. This created a huge safeguarding issue and no parent or child should have to worry about them having a safe and reliable method of getting to school.

“Last Monday about five children were unable to get on the bus."

Mrs Morrison said that she and her husband made several phone calls to TfGM before a bus pass was granted.

"Thankfully in the end it has been resolved," she said, "We have now been told there will be more capacity and the Yellow School Bus will be replaced with a 995 service. We had no problems last year. Don’t fix what’s not broken.

“They have now rectified the problem so it is not going to be an issue as of next week.”

Other parents are understood to have raised concerns, prompting a response from the Academy.

The school released this message to parents: “Please accept our apologies once again for any issues you have faced accessing travel from Radcliffe Y10 Bus Service due to the introduction of yellow passes.

“TfGM officers have been able to relocate resources to provide a vehicle with increased capacity.

“The Year 10 service will be withdrawn and replaced by the 995, effective from Monday, November 18.”

Cllr Paul Cropper, who was contacted by Mrs Morrison, said: “I am delighted that TfGM has seen sense. As we cannot provide a secondary school in Radcliffe, the council should make sure that TfGM is able to provide adequate bus provision for Radcliffe children having to commute.

“It would seem that neither TfGM or the schools have provided adequate notice of this yellow pass system coming into force. If the system is changing parents should be told directly. If passes are required parents should be given enough time and notice to get things sorted out.”

The Radcliffe Times has approached TfGM and Unsworth Academy for comment.