Staffordshire operators asked to lay on extra capacity
Staffordshire County Council is ensuring extra bus seats are being laid on next month to help children back to school and commuters get to work.
An additional 1,160 temporary places are being created on some of the busiest routes where commercial services with seat restrictions in place would not be able to carry all potential passengers.
At present around 1,500 of the 8,000 pupils entitled to free Home to School transport use public service routes rather than dedicated school buses.
Jonathan Price, Staffordshire County Council’s Cabinet member for Education (and SEND), said: “There is a limited number of spare buses and drivers available at peak time so we’ve looked at the busiest public routes where there simply wouldn’t be enough space for pupils and commuters under current limitations and have temporarily duplicated 29 routes to create an additional 1,160 places.
“As well as ensuring the council is meeting its legal duty to ensure children entitled to free transport can get to school, this will help some pupils not entitled to free transport and also free up the busiest commercial routes for commuters.”
Every child entitled to a free travel pass is allocated a route number and instructions where to check for details of routes and running times. Duplicate services may run before or after the original scheduled service and entitled pupils are asked to board the ‘special’ service rather than choose between the two.