Mother attacked after Thetford Academy school bus cancelled
PUBLISHED: 12:09 21 September 2018 | UPDATED: 17:46 21 September 2018
A mother was attacked by a mugger who punched her in the face whilst she was on the way to collect her son from school.
It happened after a school bus service was cancelled, leaving youngsters with a choice between public transport or a 40-minute walk to Thetford Academy.
The service, operated by Brandon-based Lewis Coaches was cancelled by the company at the start of the academic year. It took students from the Fulmerston Road, St John’s Way and Canterbury Way areas of the town.
One mother, who has asked not to be named, was attacked in an underpass while on her way to pick up her 11-year-old son from the academy.
An unidentified attacker tried to snatch her bag and when she resisted hit her in the face, leaving redness and broken skin.
She said: “I don’t want any of the children going through the same as me. I was walking the same way most of the kids would walk home and I don’t feel safe any more.
“It’s getting worse because its getting darker early and the kids don’t feel safe on the bus with strangers either.”
Police are now investigating the attack, which happened at 2.30pm on Wednesday, September 12.
Shazz Birch, whose daughter is in year seven at the academy, said: “I’ve got a child with anxiety not comfortable going on public transport. Yes there’s other options available, but they’re not considering the kids’ needs.”
A spokesman for the Inspiration Trust, which runs the academy, said whilst public buses did not go directly to the school, they were a suitable alternative to the cancelled service.
The Lewis Coach service was paid for by parents, costing around £2.50 per child a day.
A spokesman from the Inspiration Trust said it was informed the service had been pulled because it was not financially viable.
The coach company ceased trading over the summer and has not been available for comment.
Amanda Walton has created a petition calling for a replacement service, which has so far been signed by more than 200 people.
Parents can find copies at Londis on Croxton Road, the Golden star fish bar and Ace Tanning on Canons’ Walk and the Charles Burrell Museum.
Thetford Academy has invited Mrs Walton and Mrs Birch for a meeting with academy principal Dan Carter on Friday, September 28.