Children will have to walk more than a mile along a “dangerous” path to reach school after the council scrapped their bus.
People living in Kingseat say they feel like a “forgotten community” after receiving a letter advising them that youngsters will have to make their own way to Newmachar Primary School for lessons.
Parents have been told by Aberdeenshire Council that the bus will be withdrawn due to the completion of a “new” path between the two communities, but the affected families say the path has been there for years.
And they claim the route is not safe for children to walk on for the estimated 30-minute journey – due to a 60mph speed limit on the adjacent road, a dangerous drop to a burn and electric fences in the vicinity.
The council has even advised that parents do not let their children walk alone on the path.
Mum Jade Todd, whose daughter attends Newmachar Primary, said: “This came out of the blue just three weeks before the schools are go to back. If we’d had some warning, we wouldn’t have made a noise about this.
“We want to get the bus back but are getting nowhere – it feels like this is a forgotten community sometimes.
“Surely the council has a duty of care to protect the children?”
Mrs Todd has written to local councillors and MSPs on the issue and has also started a petition.
Newmachar mum Emma Macpherson added: “The ‘new’ path that they use as a reason to cancel the service is not new at all, and has been there for as long as the bus service.
“We weren’t offered a choice of paying for the service again, which parents would be happy to do, it was just cancelled.”
Last night, an Aberdeenshire Council spokesman insisted the path was safe for children to travel upon.
He said: “Following a review of the walking/cycling path from Kingseat to Newmachar by a qualified road safety auditor, the route was found to be in good condition and fit for purpose.
“This reflects the approach taken at other locations across Aberdeenshire where the school is within the statutory two-mile minimum distance and the route has been assessed.
“Within the statutory distance of two miles, it is assumed that families and carers will accompany a child to a school.”