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New College Durham (NCD) has reported the dire situation of nearly 1,000 students unable to attend classes due to the ongoing Go North East bus strike, compelling the college to seek

alternative transportation at significant cost.

The strike, persisting for a month, has disrupted the education and mental well-being of students, compelling the college to spend substantial funds on alternative travel arrangements.

Alison Maynard, Deputy Principal at NCD, emphasized the challenges, stating, "We have 996 students who can't access the college; they lack means of travel at the moment. Therefore, we're prioritizing them." She highlighted efforts to secure private buses, minibuses, and taxis, funded by the college to ensure students' access to education.

This situation has forced the college to allocate resources, spending up to £400 per day on private hire buses, a substantial expense for a college accommodating around 2,800 full-time students between the ages of 16 and 18.

As the strike continues, the college has observed a surge in students seeking mental health support, underscoring the distressing impact of the strikes on students' well-being.

Eryk Wrobel, an NCD health and social care student, expressed the toll on his mental health due to the strike affecting his commute from Leadgate to Durham. The disruption has resulted in missed classes, assessments, and social interactions, profoundly affecting his mental well-being.

Similarly, Moss Parish, a student governor and A-level student, voiced concerns about friends unable to attend classes and their subsequent withdrawal from social and educational engagements. The lack of transport options has left her unable to check up on them, causing growing apprehension over their well-being.

In a recent development, Unite the Union and Go North East reached an agreement on a pay offer, including a two-year deal with significant pay raises. However, Go North East declined to comment while workers are being balloted, leaving the situation uncertain amidst ongoing disruptions to students' education and mental health. Photo by NCDOfficial, Wikimedia commons.