A CONCERNED parent is fighting a decision by civic chiefs to withdraw free school transport for his child from Bishop's Waltham to Swanmore College because of concerns over safety.

An investigation by Hampshire County Council found a 2.87 mile route from Hermitage Close to the college on New Road to be safe.

But councillors are set to hear a confidential plea from the parent for the council to continue providing the service.

Free transport is normally provided for children over eight attending their catchment school, or nearer school, when the distance is more than three miles.

But a review of walking routes to Swanmore College found there was an alternative route from Bishop's Waltham to the college that met safety criteria and was within the three mile limit.

As a result, parents of 21 students received a letter in July last year saying their free transport would be withdrawn at the end of the term in December.

The alternative route follows along the Winchester Road before turning into Forest Road and then New Road.

The parent's application for free transport in September was refused, as was an appeal in November.

The second school transport appeal will be considered by Hampshire County Council's regulatory sub-committee on January 25.