Children are being delayed on their way to school because villagers are refusing to move their parked cars, it has been claimed.

First Bus says the ‘inconsiderate parking’ of some residents in Loders means their drivers cannot always get youngsters to the Sir John Colfox School on time.

Dorset County Council has now issued a plea for villagers to park more considerately - and to comply with the Highway Code.

But Michele Warrington, chairman of Loders Parish Council questioned whether there is an alternative to the double decker bus which is used to transport schoolchildren through the village.

She said: “There is an issue because of the nature of the geography of the village. Whether or not people are parking illegally or not observing the Highway Code, I cannot comment but, as a parish council, it would be worth asking if there can be an alternative to the large vehicle that is currently used.”

Cllr Warrington also suggested that the roadworks in the village may have exacerbated the issue. They are due to be completed by the end of next week.

Cllr Daryl Turner, Dorset County Council cabinet member for natural and built environment, said a double decker bus gives taxpayers the best value for money, due to the number of pupils who have to be transported.

Dervla McKay, head of operations for First Bus, said: “It appears that some residents have parked their cars so that the bus cannot get through. When asked to move their vehicles, they have refused.

“Our drivers are keen to ensure they do their job getting local children to school safely and on time which they cannot always do due to the inconsiderate parking of some residents.

“A double decker bus is the same width as a single and if the bus can’t get through, then some larger emergency vehicles will not be able to get through either which is incredibly concerning.”

Dorset County Council has a statutory obligation to transport eligible children to school and must stick to length of journey guidelines set by national Government.

Cllr Turner added: “We are asking the residents to consider the needs of the whole community in this matter. 

“Education is a very important part of our young 
people’s lives and getting them to school safely is a priority.”

Cllr Turner added: “We are also reminding all road users that they must comply with the highway code and to obstruct a highway is an offence.”

Headteacher of Colfox David Herbert said: "I am aware that First Wessex have reported what they believe to be parking by a minority of local residents that is deliberately intended to delay the bus.  

"There have been occasions in recent weeks where this has meant that the students have arrived late to school.

"The new bus contract that was awarded by DCC to First Wessex means there are fewer buses in operation with longer journey times for our students.   On this particular route the double decker bus has already dropped off a full load of students at Colfox and is then making a double run back to Loders to pick up the students who live in the village.  

"I have been making representation to DCC and First Wessex since September to provide a more satisfactory service to our students.  As yet, no changes have been made to the routes in operation."