Frustrated parents say their concerns over major school transport failings have been “ignored or brushed off” by the county council – prompting leader Martin Tett to apologise for their “poor administration”.

Families were only told on August Bank Holiday Monday that Bucks County Council would no longer provide the children places on school buses - meaning they had to find new arrangements just days before the new school term started.

Parents had applied back in March to pay for a place on the school bus to get their 11-year-olds to their catchment secondary school.

The county council blamed problems with the transport contracts renewal process, “technical issues” printing bus passes for pupils and issues with the online payment system.

In an open letter to County Council leader Martin Tett, parents Siobhan Adams, Galit Ben-Ami Gibson, Louise Clark and Victoria Groulef – who have set up the Bucks School Transport Issues Group – have called for a task force to be set up to rectify the problems.

In the letter, they highlight the problems parents and children have faced – including some children being allocated a space on school transport but their siblings were left without one.

This has seen some parents forced to follow the school bus all the way to school with one child in the car and one on the bus.

They also say some children have been left with no way of getting to school because of a lack of public transport and council-provided schemes.

“Unsafe” alternative routes – including train journeys via London – have also apparently been suggested by the council.

The parents also say children have been left “sitting on the floor of buses” because no seats were available and incorrect photos or details put on the bus passes.

They have also complained of being kept on hold for more than 45 minutes when trying to reach the council through their helpline.

A public petition was set up by parents angry with the situation and it will be presented to the full council meeting on September 26.

So far, 1,147 people have signed it.

The letter says: “We have since learned from Paul Robson, Head of Bucks Transport Department, that in light of our school transport campaign, the council has started to rectify some of the issues, and is engaging in talks with some coach companies, in order to resolve the school buses situation.

“Whilst we welcome this positive breakthrough, there are still many very important questions and issues left unanswered by you. We want to ensure that this council (and the future unitary authority), will quickly put in place a comprehensive school transport scheme for now and the future.”

They are proposing a school transport task force is set up – including parents – to make sure it happens.

In response to the open letter, Cllr Tett said: “Firstly, may I again apologise to all parents who were affected by the council’s poor administration of this year’s Home to School transport process. I believe you should expect to receive timely, professional and accurate information with regard to your entitlement to transport.

“It is clear to me from an interim review that, in many cases, we fell far short of the standard parents have a right to reasonably expect.”

He added that he “cannot give any commitment at this stage” to significant changes to their policy and has asked Anita Cranmer, the cabinet member for education and Mark Shaw, the cabinet member for transport to “review what took place this year and consider what occurred, why this occurred and what must be done to ensure that this is not repeated in future years”.