PUPILS arriving at an isolated railway station in the dark at the end of the school day are to be allowed to finish lessons early.

The trial scheme is being introduced at Holmes Chapel Comprehensive School after concerns were expressed by parents over the impact changes to train times were having on when their children were getting home.

The concern focuses on changed times for services from Holmes Chapel to Sandbach in the afternoon, which the school says has meant some pupils waiting for up to an hour for a train and arriving at Sandbach in the dark.

As a result the school has responded to parents’ concerns by agreeing to a trial scheme, starting next week, whereby children affected by the new train times will be allowed to finish slightly earlier than normal.

The Northern timetable shows trains from Holmes Chapel Railway Station to Sandbach, a five-minute journey, leaving at 3.28pm and 3.43pm.

If pupils miss the 3.43pm train they face a 45-minute wait for the next service to Sandbach at 4.28pm, which is followed by a train at 4.43pm.

A school spokesman said: “It has been brought to our attention by a number of parents that the train times from Holmes Chapel to Sandbach have been changed, which is causing some concern.

“This is exacerbated at this time of the year, as the children are waiting at the station for up to an hour and arriving at an isolated station in the dark.

“Following discussion the Senior Leadership Team has agreed to pilot a scheme aimed at allowing the very small number of students who are affected to leave the last lesson of the day five minutes early, at 3.25pm, from Monday to Thursday. School closes at 3pm on Fridays.

“Students who wish to be involved in the pilot will need to apply for a pass by going to reception and asking.

“We will then contact parents to validate the request before issuing a pass. The trial scheme will commence on Monday, November 12 and will be evaluated at the end of term. For further enquiries please email office@hccs.info”