The Ministry of Education has pushed pause on its decision to scrap a school bus taking students from a small CHB settlement to Havelock North, citing safety reasons.

In October around 50 members of the Elsthorpe community gathered together to try and save the school bus, which services students going to Havelock North, as well as the primary school in Elsthorpe.

Parents were worried about their ability to get their children to Havelock North for school if the route changes.

At the meeting, one parent said sending his child to Central Hawke's Bay College instead of school in Havelock North would mean an extra hour on the bus each day.

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A letter, sent to the principals of Elsthorpe School and schools in Havelock North, said the proposed new bus stop, at 1234 Kahuranaki Rd, had been found to be not sufficiently safe, and the ministry was delaying the changes for a year while it found an alternative.

Tukituki MP Lawrence Yule said the year grace period was a good interim measure, but he was lobbying the Minister of Education for the current route to remain as is for five years.

He said he felt the five years was a reasonable expectation for the community to have.

He also criticised the process used by the Ministry of Education to determine the new turning point for the bus, saying it was done on Google Maps, rather than sending someone out to determine its safety.

"The process used was a bit amateur."

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Head of Education Infrastructure Service at the Ministry, Kim Shannon, said they had listened to community concerns over the safety of the new turning point, and agreed the proposed spot was not safe.

"This has delayed us finalising the new school bus routes, so the changes on Kahuranaki Rd will now come into effect at the start of 2021.

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"This will also give us time to work through some options with the community."

She said the ministry provides transportation students to get to the school closest to where they live.

"We're making changes to routes servicing Elsthorpe, to ensure they're designed to effectively meet the needs of students who are eligible for our assistance, specifically those who attend their closest school."