A FAMILY has blasted a decision ordering an 11-year-old girl to hand back her school bus pass – while her twin can keep hers.

Scott Mason said he had been left ‘absolutely disgusted’ after being told to give up one of the passes for his stepdaughters immediately.


The girls, Lucy and Katie Ackers, 11, attend St Christopher’s CE High School in Accrington with the family paying £38 per month for each pass.

However the family have been told that one must be handed back to Lancashire County Council after the space was given to a student who qualifies for a free pass.

Scott, 36, said: “The girls are so upset over this and I can’t believe that it is happening.

“I feel very let down by the system and I refuse to hand back the pass.

“I have nothing against people who need a free pass but I should not be penalised for working all my adult life.”

St Christopher’s has called on the council to ‘honour their original commitment to the family’.

Scott, of Windermere Drive, Rishton, said the council should provide a bigger bus for students to use or to put on an extra bus in the morning to cope with demand.

He said: “Both my wife Amanda and I work full time and the our daughter Sophie, three, goes to a childminder.

“This just wrecks our life as we have no other way of getting the girls to school.

“I was going to say to the school that I’ll just let them go on alternate days.

“I’ve got to be in work for 7.30am so I would have to either send them in a taxi which will cost me a fortune or they would have to get the circular bus, which drops off in Accrington and then they would have to walk.

“Also, they would either get to school too early or too late. I’m not sending my kid to school for 7.25am.”

The council has said that it is currently exploring whether a larger bus is available for the route.

Amanda said: “We applied for these bus passes in July and one of them now has to give up their pass.

“We were last to receive them so I imagine that is why they have taken it off us.”

Richard Jones, headteacher at St Christopher’s, said: “We are aware of an ongoing situation regarding passenger numbers on one of the LCC buses which serve St Christopher’s.

“I encourage the local authority to honour their original commitment to the family.

“Both girls have made a super start to their secondary education and we would not want this be disrupted in any way.

“My understanding is that LCC are seeking to resolve this situation in a positive way which will satisfy the obvious and pressing need for a larger bus.

“I encourage them to do so in order to bring about a speedy and amicable resolution to this situation.”

Andrew Varley, Lancashire County Council public transport manager, said: “We have to give priority to children who have a statutory entitlement to free home to school transport, with paid-for season tickets for any spare seats on the bus allocated on a first-come-first-served basis.

“We make clear the conditions attached to the paid-for season tickets at the application stage, which include the possibility that the ticket may have to be returned and refunded if further seats are needed for children who have a statutory entitlement.

“When a ticket has to be returned, the last season ticket issued is the first to be withdrawn, which I understand is difficult in this case but is the fairest possible system for everyone.

“We are currently exploring whether the bus service provider may be able to provide a larger vehicle, although the county council could not meet any extra costs for this.

“There are also public and other school buses which serve the school and may provide an alternative if needed.”