PARENTS have reacted angrily to delays and unannounced changes regarding transport to schools in Monmouthshire, ahead of the new school year.

Monmouthshire County Council had not provided bus passes and timetable information to some households ahead of the first day of term, the South Wales Argus understands, with some pupils travelling to Caldicot not told that their allocated bus stops had been changed.

"It's an absolute farce," one mother from Chepstow told the Argus. Travel information had not been provided for any of her children, who had prepared to return to school this week without knowing how they would get there.

"It's been left to us to ring around and find our where and when our children are being picked up," she added. "This is the worst I've ever seen it – we've never had the drama we've had this year.

It's never been this bad, this last-minute, this poor."

On Friday, the local authority issued via Facebook an apology to parents who were still waiting for transport details, and announced bus passes would be issued that day via email.

While some parents thanked the council for the update, many more criticised the way the matter had been dealt with. Some called the matter a "shambles" and "unacceptable".

On Tuesday, Monmouthshire council released updated bus stop information for pupils travelling to Caldicot School, but some parents have complained the information was still "confusing" and appeared to miss certain stops in Caerwent.

The Argus asked Monmouthshire council to comment on parents' concerns, as well as the extent of the problem and how many schools were affected.

In response, a council spokeswoman acknowledged a number of delays with the rollout of bus passes and apologised for any inconvenience, adding that all parents whose children were entitled to statutory transport should have received bus pass information August 30.

"We are now working through the applications for post-16 transport and will be contacting parents over the next few days," she added. "We have tried to address issues where we have been made aware of them and will continue to do so as the new routes are implemented.

"We will ensure any outstanding statutory bus passes are sent out and parents are made aware of changes to routes.

"We encourage anyone with questions regarding their child’s travel to school to get in contact with us so we can resolve the issue.”