COMPLAINTS have been made that there is not enough space on buses for pupil at Powys' newest secondary school to sit, while travelling between campuses.

They are having to stand while travelling between Builth Wells and Llandrindod Wells campuses.

The situation has been branded as "unacceptable" by Leader of the Liberal Democrat/Green Group on Powys Council, Cllr James Gibson-Watt.

Dedicated school buses used to operate to and from Llandrindod Wells and Builth Wells High Schools.

But this autumn term the Council has issued travel vouchers to pupils of Ysgol Calon Cymru who qualify for free school transport, to use on public service buses between the  towns.

Cllr Gibson-Watt, said: “It is unacceptable to have school and college pupils standing on buses, because there are not enough seats to enable all passengers to sit.

"The safety of the school and college pupils travelling by bus is the direct responsibility of the Council.

“I have no objection in principle to secondary school pupils being transported on public bus services, however, there must be adequate capacity on the buses to ensure all pupils can sit down.

Finance Cabinet member Cllr Aled Davies has responded to the criticism:

Cllr Davies said: "The bus that the Council is providing to convey entitled school children between Llandrindod and Builth is a local bus service and is open to members of the public to use.

"This is common practice across all Powys and most other local authorities in the UK.

"Since 2007, Powys has taken children to school on local bus services.

"There are currently around 1,500 learners taken to school or college on service buses every day.

" Our records state that there are 26 learners entitled to free school transport between Llandrindod and Builth.

"The council has specified more than enough seats for each entitled learner to have a seat on this vehicle."

Cllr Davies explained that children from outside the free travel area use the service as their parents have chosen the Builth campus over Llandrindod.

An observer on a bus journey also noted that some pupils chose not to use them but rather stand and that the bus only reaches 40mph at one point during the seven and a half mile journey.

Cllr Davies added: "We consider that this bus service is a safe way to transport our children to school. "

"The Council must ensure effective use of public money and it is not a good use of public money to provide a local bus service down the A483 to be followed by a dedicated school bus down the same section of road."

"Implementing the bus service does saves the council around £50,000 per annum, but it also enables us to provide a service bus that non-entitled learners could access by paying a fare. "