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S69 replacement bus service

Further to recent communication, we have sent to all parents/guardians via Parent Pay we all find ourselves in this situation that neither the school nor you want. You may be aware that this bus service (S69) is not run by, facilitated or managed in any way by the school, neither is it by the Local Authority.
In June the school was informed by Diamond that they were going to cancel the S69 as it is unprofitable.
The school:
  • Spoke to 4 different bus companies (DiamndJohnsons, Green Bus and Dudley’s) to see how much such a service would cost. The quotes came in between £25 to £45 per week for exactly the route that Diamond offered.
  • Spoke to the Local Authority Education Transport team. We were told that whilst they found this an interesting decision by the bus provider because it is a private service, there was nothing they could do. Also, they (Local Authority) had spent their funds this year and were therefore unable to offer any subsidy for the route.
Therefore, the outcomes left were either:
  • Organise for one of the 4 bus companies to run this service at a 100% ticket price increase
  • Not run a service at all

 

As a school, we found neither of the two options above acceptable. Therefore, we have researched the cost of running our own service. We are able to offer this service at a considerably lower price than the 4 quoted business because we are not providing this service to generate a profit. We are covering our costs (the costs of buying two minibusses specifically for this route, bus drivers and running costs (fuel etc…)
We understand that the weekly ticket price is a little higher than the current service (that the current supplier is withdrawing as it isn’t profitable). Hopefully, the above information explains the rationale behind this. We are also aware of more rural routes to secondary schools that charge a very similar monthly cost.
As a school, running a bus service is not an area we really wanted to actually source, staff and run. One would assume that there are other agencies or organisations that would need to provide or want to provide such a service at a reasonable price. However, as explained above, there are providers willing to run a service, but we felt their prices were more prohibitive that the prices we are charging that just cover costs.
Should you wish to pop in and discuss this with either Mr Hewitt or Mr Bennett, then please let us know of your availability before the start of the new term and one of us will be available
Kind regards
Ridgeway Academy

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