PARENTS in North Petherton have spoken of their joy after their appeal against the withdrawal of school transport to and from Robert Blake School was successful.

The concerned group of parents lodged an appeal in January after Somerset County Council (SCC) announced they would be removing transport to and from the school after Easter.

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Parents were further angered after the council deemed the three-mile route to the school across the Huntworth roundabout to be ‘safe’ for youngsters, meaning the free transport could be withdrawn.

But uproar from parents was backed by North Petherton Town Council, who slammed SCC’s claims that the road was safe and argued the road was ‘hazardous’ due to a lack of crossings and safety features.

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A spokesman for the North Petherton parents’ group which protested the move said: “We are very grateful to the Independent Tribunal, who have agreed with us and decided that all our appeals have been successful and so the bus service for our children will continue.

“We are very grateful to our local town council, including Mayor Alan Bradford, two local county councillors Bill Revans and Richard Brown and to the head teachers of Robert Blake and North Petherton Community Primary School, who all supported our appeals.

“We put a great deal of time and work into collecting our arguments together and supporting each other through the difficult appeals process. “We now hope that Somerset County Council adopts a more realistic approach to child safety in future and do not try to save money in ways which expose young people to enormous risk.”

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Councillors have also expressed their joy at the news, saying the parents ‘worked hard’ to win the appeal.

Cllr Bill Revans, Sedgemoor District Councillor for North Petherton, congratulated them.

“It’s fabulous news that the local parents won their appeal against Somerset County Council’s attempt to withdraw free bus travel from North Petherton to Robert Blake School,” he said.

“The parents worked hard for their victory, providing lots of evidence of how unsafe the road is, especially at the Huntworth roundabout. I was proud to march with the children and parents.”