LAST-DITCH efforts to save a school bus service have failed - but council chiefs have pledged to work with parents to ensure alternative transport can be found.
In March, Arriva cancelled its 38 service from the Meadowbank area of Winsford which called at High Street Primary School and Verdin High School, saying the service was not cost effective.
That left Meadowbank parents dismayed that their children had to walk down the dangerous New Road to get to school.
They appealed to Cheshire County Council for a replacement service, but have now been told that a survey of the road found it was not dangerous enough to warrant new transport for the youngsters.
Borough councillor Pete Gannon, who represented the parents during their fight for an appeal, said: 'We are all very disappointed they deem New Road to be safe for children to walk down - I wouldn't let my grandchildren walk there. It's unsafe for adults, let alone children.
'In the summer months, it's not so bad, but in winter when it's dark in the morning and afternoons and when there are a large number of 80-ton lorries speeding down there every few minutes to and from the salt mines, it's a very different matter. There's always the potential for an accident to happen.' A council spokeswoman said: 'When we conducted surveys prior to putting on a replacement, we found that only four people regularly took the bus to the schools, and as the walk is under our statutory walking distance regulations, we felt that it would not be viable to replace the 38.
'An appeal was lodged over safety issues in the area, but under nationally agreed criteria we found that the route is safe enough to walk.
'We have been contacted by parents and will be looking to help them set up an alternative - car sharing or taxi service.'