CHILDREN boarding a rural school’s buses with blades are damaging coaches and endangering safety, according to transport companies.
The pupils from Tarporley High School are shredding seat belts on a daily basis, according to Malpas-based Merediths coaches.
Meanwhile, Barratts Coaches have had seat backing slashed and are frustrated their cries for help to the school, the county council and the police have yet to yield any positive result.
A Barratts’ spokeswoman said: “I don’t think they understand the implications.”
The high school’s headteacher, Sarah Lee, sent a letter to parents of pupils who use the number 16 service after The Chronicle made inquiries last week.
She said: “I expect you will feel angry as I do that the pupils who travel on this bus should be represented in this way.”
However, Barratts management alleges a long-running series of complaints dating back to mid November in which scissors were lodged in seats, seat belts have been vandalised and upholstery savaged by children with bladed objects.
Barratts said: “What we have to put up with on our buses is frustrating.
“The cost involved is the main thing and so is the safety of our drivers and the children on board.”
David Meredith, who runs coaches to the school on a daily basis added: “Every day we’re replacing belts.
“Perhaps we don’t get the support from Tarporley because it’s after school hours and so it’s not their problem and it’s not the county’s so it ends up being our problem.”
Both companies admit vandalism and dangerous behaviour is not exclusive to the Tarporley school but it is going through a “bad phase”.
HEADTEACHER Sarah Lee has flatly denied there is any problem on school buses to and from Tarporley Community High School.
She said: “The school has a strong record of working closely with Cheshire’s School Transport Service to promote good behaviour on buses.
“There’s no evidence of any frequent poor behaviour by our students on buses.
“Any problems are dealt with firmly by the school and the School Transport Service working together.
“We encourage the bus companies to let us know if they have any concerns and we have not heard at this point that there are any.”