Tragedy sparks new school bus system

09 September 2004 - Belfast Telegraph

 

The school formerly attended by tragic Co Antrim boy Aaron Armstrong, who committed suicide after allegedly being bullied on public transport, has introduced new bus arrangements for its pupils.

Pupils from Cambridge House Grammar in Ballymena no longer join with hundreds of other schoolkids from other schools at Ballymena bus station each afternoon.

Instead, since Monday, buses now make the half mile journey from the station at Galgorm Road, Ballymena, to the school to pick up children and take them directly home.

Children used to walk from the school or were taken by shuttle bus to the station where they then caught buses to home destinations across Co Antrim.

Translink said the new Cambridge House bus move is aimed at reducing the number of people congregating at the station. There have been several problems in recent years at Ballymena bus station because of the mass post-3pm influx.

Because of assaults on pupils, the bus authorities and schools, along with police, had met and undercover police officers were even placed at the station.

DUP Assemblyman Ian Paisley Junior said last night: "This new bus measure highlights the seriousness of the bullying and overcrowding problem, but to stamp out bullying on buses we need a pilot scheme involving supervision on buses to be brought in as soon as possible."