Parents have won a three-year campaign to secure a bus service for Chessington schoolchildren, meaning students will soon be able to travel safely to school in warmth.

The parents’ fight kicked into action when, in 2006, Surrey County Council scrapped a designated school bus which transported pupils in Chessington and Hook to Hinchley Wood School.

Pupils whose parents could not run them to school were left with no option than to walk or cycle along the A309, which has no pavement on the south side, or travel to Surbiton to catch the K3 to Hinchley Wood, which added about 50 minutes to some children’s journey times.

Spearheading the campaign were parents Steve Griffiths and Steph Narramore, who were delighted when Transport for London (TfL) confirmed just before Christmas that it would extend the 467 bus route during school times.

Mrs Narramore, whose sons Michael, 15, and Andrew, 17, both attend Hinchley Wood, said: “This is really good news. The boys are delighted because it means they don’t have to walk that long journey home in the cold.

“It’s something that we felt strongly about and we didn’t want to let it go without a fight because we felt we were a significant number and we were being overlooked.

“The Government says Every Child Matters but we felt like our children didn’t matter quite so much. I’m sure a lot of parents will be very grateful.”

Subject to consultation with stakeholders, which including Kingston Council, London TravelWatch and the police, the new service will be introduced from Monday, February 22.

Edward Davey, MP for Kingston and Surbiton, got involved in the campaign at the beginning of 2009, when parents and Councillor Mary Reid asked for help in dealing with TfL.

Caroline Pigeon, the Liberal Democrat chairman of the Greater London Authority's transport committee, also got involved to speed things along for the 140 or so Chessington children who attend the school.

Mr Davey said: “I’m delighted our pressure has now paid off, and these young people will have a school bus to take them safely to school from next month. This is good for their education and good for the environment.

“The real stars in this campaign were the parents who produced such compelling evidence of the need for the bus that it was hard for Transport for London to say no.

“While this decision is formally subject to consultation, I’m sure everyone will see it makes sense for everybody - including motorists who should see a reduction in traffic at school opening and closing.”

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