Ledyard parents concerned over new bus stops

LEDYARD, Conn. (WTNH)– New bus stops are causing concern for many parents and students in Ledyard.

Last year Melanie Willis’s son was picked up for school at the end of the driveway. She doesn’t expect that this year but she would like to see something closer than the three miles he now has to walk. For most of it the road is rural but some spots are narrow and guard rails leave little room along the edge.

Melanie Willis says, “it concerns me for the winter when it snows. There’s no sidewalks to begin with so once it snows there’s not going to be anywhere for him to walk.”

Her son is a junior at Ella Grasso Technical High School and is now picked up for the Groton school at the Ledyard Center School. He’s then dropped off at the Bill Library.

Leslie Masten’s daughter goes to the Marine Sciences School also in Groton and is on the same bus. If the kids can’t get a ride to or from the bus stop, they walk.

“I think there’s going to be a lot of parents who say it’s probably not as big an issue in the morning as it is in the afternoons,” said Masten.

In a statement the school department says it revamped bus routes because in this year’s budget “… approximately $100,000 was cut from the public transportation line, representing two buses.”

The total number of bus stops was reduced and more centralized ‘cluster stops’ were created like the one off Route 214, some say is a long, windy, and dangerous road.

Willis says she’s, “very frustrated because to me they’re not taking into account the children’s safety over their budget cuts.”

The school department says of the 2,600 students it transports it had about sixty requests for change many for students who go to Ledyard schools and 34 of those requests have been resolved.

Melanie’s husband Todd Willis says, “maybe to their satisfaction but I don’t think to the parent’s satisfaction.”

The requests which still need to be resolved are awaiting site reviews which will be done next week.

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