PUPILS TIRED OF WAITING ON TRANSPORT FOR LONDON

Students from across the Citizens UK alliance are tired of waiting for a bus to take them to school and home again in time for dinner.

School and college students from Brent and Wandsworth are today, Wednesday 22 January, taking direct action in the hope that Transport for London executives will respond to their requests for a meeting to discuss increasing the frequency of bus services in their areas.

Students of Ark Academy Wembley and SFX College in Wandsworth regularly wait for over 40mins to catch a bus home. Getting home late means that time for homework, extra study and after school activities, such as sports clubs, are often missed. Throughout a school year this is equivalent to missing two full weeks of study time.

The students are members of Citizens UK, a charity which works to develop the capacity and skills of communities so they can improve their neighbourhood and participate more fully in society.

Paul Amuzie, Citizens UK’s community organiser in Brent, said

“A number of schools and colleges in Citizens UK’s membership have experienced problems with the infrequency of buses at peak hours.

“Teams of staff, students, local businesses and residents from Ark Academy Wembley and SFX College in Wandsworth have attempted to engage with Transport for London on numerous occasions in recent years and have found the process extremely frustrating.

“We have joined together today to take direct action outside the Transport for London office at London Bridge, to remind the executives that we would like to discuss our local issues with them, as well as thanking them for the investment Transport for London brings to our communities and the valuable job opportunities arising from infrastructure development across London.”

Students and staff from Ark Academy want to highlight to Leon Daniels, Managing Director, Surface Transport, Transport for London, problems around the frequency and capacity of the 206 bus route, as well the need for planning for the future to avoid further problems. Two further schools are set to open in the area, meaning that within five years there will potentially be 1,200 more students using the three local bus stops.

Samir Hussain, 14 year old student at Ark Academy Wembley said: “We’ve sent Mr Daniels a letter about the issues we want to discuss, and then we made him a video to show how buses are overcrowded and too small to transport everyone who needs to use them at peak times. My friends and I are often waiting around in the cold until past five o’clock just to get on a bus home.

“We haven’t had a response from anyone at Transport for London. We’re getting tired of waiting for buses, and waiting for someone to listen to our concerns. I think Mr Daniels could at least have a meeting with us so we can explain the problems in our area. That’s what we are asking for today, Mr Daniels to take our concerns seriously.”