A PARENT has hit out at Lancashire County Council's 'appalling' plans to remove a school bus service from a rural village.

Mellor mum-of-two Susan Popadiuk said she was ‘shocked’ after being told the 623 double decker bus service from Mellor's Trader Arms to Clitheroe Royal Grammar School could be removed.

A consultation was launched by County Hall in February informing parents that the council run bus service, which travels through Ramsgreave, Wilpshire and Salesbury, may be axed.

It is one of several Clitheroe Royal Grammar School bus services which could be removed by County Hall, which it says is financially strapped for cash. Others 'for the chop' include the 860 from Roe Lee and 889 from Simonstone.

Mrs Popadiuk, whose 14-year-old son, Michael, has relied on the service for the last two years, said: “It would be a big loss for Mellor.”

The 54-year-old pays £750 a year for her son to use the service and says around 30 pupils from Mellor use the service.

She said: “It seems to be Clitheroe Royal Grammar School buses that are for the chop. My son is in Year 9 and this will affect him when he is in sixth form. I cannot understand how the service is not making any money because it’s so pricey.”

A petition has since been set up by Ribble Valley councillors in opposition to the proposed removal of the 623 school bus service. It has been signed by more than 300 people.

Ribble Valley Cllr Allan Knox, who is one of the leading proponents of the petition, said: “It seems absolutely appalling that the county council has done this. I understand they are strapped for cash but this is something that’s bringing in money. It does seem to cause a great deal of concern.”

The county council has said it was not want to comment on the petition or concerns raised by residents and local councillors until the consultation closes.

A spokesman for Lancashire County Council said: “If the cabinet agrees to this proposal, we will give schools and parents a full academic year's notice before funding is removed. During this time, we will work with schools and bus operators to see if there is another way to provide the service.

"This means that from September 2020, the school bus services listed above may no longer be provided."

The 623 bus runs five days a week departing for the 40 minute journey from Mellor at 8.15am and 3.45pm from Clitheroe Royal Grammar School.

County Hall's consultation closed today (April 8).