Mother in 'panic mode'

St Leonards resident Megan Sinclair stands at her local bus stop from where buses will next term cease taking her son directly to Dunedin North Intermediate. Photo: Peter McIntosh
St Leonards resident Megan Sinclair stands at her local bus stop from where buses will next term cease taking her son directly to Dunedin North Intermediate. Photo: Peter McIntosh
The mother of a Dunedin North Intermediate pupil is in ''panic mode'' after learning the bus route which takes her son to school from St Leonards will stop running in two weeks.

Megan Sinclair said her 13-year-old son suffered from severe anxiety and she was worried the uncertainty and pressure of having to catch one bus, then deal with transferring to another one would be too much for him.

''To say this has upset me is an understatement.

''I am now in panic mode as I know my son will not cope with the new system and I have great concerns for his safety, getting to and from school,'' Mrs Sinclair said.

Her son had only one more term at DNI and she

was now considering moving him to another school in Port Chalmers, where the bus would take him directly from St Leonards to the school gate.

DNI was the closest school offering years 7 and 8. It was chosen because of the bus service and the direct connection.

Both Mrs Sinclair and her husband worked and had no option but to use the school bus.

She said she only discovered her son's bus route would be discontinued last Friday when buying a bus ticket.

The new system required children to take two buses to and from school, to walk between bus stops across a very busy one-way system, and disembark near the Dunedin Botanic Garden - at one of the busiest city intersections.

She said there was also the issue of children missing buses in transfers.

''This is too much responsibility for 10- to 13-year olds. These children have come from small area schools, and in most cases have never caught a bus before,'' Mrs Sinclair said.

A 10- to 13-year old would not think twice before stepping out on to a busy road and would not handle being stranded in town because they were unsure which bus to catch or because their bus was full and they were unable to get on.

''I know for myself, my son would not handle this situation as he has not yet got the maturity, which is normal for his age.''

Mrs Sinclair was also concerned about the extra costs for families. At present the cost was $28 a week.

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