FED-UP residents are calling for action over the misery of around 60 coaches using their road every day to take thousands of pupils to Halesowen College.

People living in Fairmile Road on the Haden Coppice Estate say that around 60 coaches are “thundering” down their road each day to ferry pupils to the college site on Whittingham Road.

Residents led by Robert Hackett and Sheila Saunders and backed by councillor Simon Phipps are calling for the college, which offers a free bus service for all of its 10,000 pupils, to stop some coaches at existing bus stops on Earls Way, Furnace Lane and Dudley Road.

Robert said coaches start coming down the road at 8.30am until 9am, then again at 12.30pm till 1pm and again from 3.30pm till 5pm.

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The 73-year-old and his wife Andrea, aged 71, have lived in the road for 44 years.

Robert (pictured above with Shelia Saunders) said: “We feel the college aren’t doing anything about it and we can’t seem to make any headway.

“It has got much much worse recently - we’ve now got around 60 coaches using the road every day.

“It’s terrible. They thunder down the road - it’s a residential estate and is not made for this amount of coaches.

“It used to be just Prospect Coaches but now there are around four coach firms.

“It’s stressing a lot of people out.”

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Councillor Phipps has been liaising with the college and says he has been waiting for a meeting, which he had suggested should be virtual, to be arranged since 8th November.

He said: “We can’t expect that all students can walk a short distance to the college, but the vast majority are perfectly capable of walking from Earls Way, Furnace Lane and Dudley Road, which would reduce the sole reliance on Fairmile Road and Attwood Street.

“Halesowen College needs to meet residents and understand what it’s like to live with the problem and then we can work on a solution.”

The college’s vice principal Jacquie Carman said the coaches reduce the amount of cars on the roads and are a key part of its ‘green travel’ plan.

She said: “We see the coaches as an invaluable service for our students which allow them to travel to college safely and during this pandemic the fact that they are able to travel on coaches not used by the general public with measures for staying safe has been our priority and parents and students value that safety.”

She said that coaches stop on the college site as “some of our students have additional needs not visible and are met from coaches by learning support assistants - other learners have mobility issues."

Ms Carman added: "Halesowen College has met with the local community on site at college for many years.

"These meetings with the local residents have been very helpful in discussing college activities including the coaches. We are aware that Cllr Phipps wished to convene a meeting. Our primary concern is safety. Given the very high Covid 19 infection rates in the area and the constraints of a the second national lockdown from 5 November until yesterday, it was not possible to host a meeting on site.

"Given that the area is now in tier 3 this is an ongoing challenge.

"We have been in regular contact with our MP James Morris who is fully aware of the coach service and the college’s priority for ensuring a Covid measures are in place for transport and creating a covid aware learning environment for our students.

"We look forward to scheduling our regular meetings with the local community as soon as we are able and it is safe to do so.

"In the meantime Cllr Phipps may consider representing his constituents on a digital platform.

"Halesowen is also exploring other options for future embarkation and disembarkation of our coaches."

Cllr Phipps said he had already suggested to the college in an e mail requesting a meeting that it would have to be virtual due to Covid-19 restrictions.