The Green Bus announces school service withdrawal
Council working flat out to find a solution
The Green Bus is withdrawing home-to-school services during the forthcoming academic year.
B&CB has been shown a letter to the operator’s customers saying it came to the ‘difficult decision’ as the cost of running the service exceeds the income it receives. It cites a 38.1% increase in its motor insurance premium from 1 August that made its networks financially unviable.
It went on to say the company has tried to place its service with another operator. After an initial agreement weas made, the operator backed out of the decision in recent days, leading it to make the decision to withdraw these services.
The Green Bus has provided reassurance that all those who had paid in advance for its services next academic year will be reimbursed in full.
“Sadly, it is simply unsustainable for small operators to survive in the rapidly-declining marketplace for local bus services” – Ian Mack, The Green Bus
After thanking customers for their business and apologising for any inconvenience, the letter, signed off by Director Ian Mack, said terminating the employment of long-serving staff at The Green Bus was ‘one of the most difficult things’ he has done. It said: “Sadly, it is simply unsustainable for small operators to survive in the rapidly-declining marketplace for local bus services.”
B&CB has contacted The Green Bus and is awaiting a response.
Council working on solution
Warwickshire County Council is reassuring the families of young people eligible for free transport to their schools, who have been affected by the withdrawal of The Green Bus Service, that an alternative service will be found.
The Council has been working with local providers since it found out about The Green Bus’s decision to ensure that alternative means of transport will be available for all school children whom the council is obligated to provide free transport for. They are also in discussions with providers to see what solutions, if any, can be found for all young people who do not receive free school transport.
Cllr Jan Matecki, portfolio holder for transport and planning at Warwickshire County Council, said: “The County Council has been working flat out since we received information that the bus service was to be withdrawn to ensure that there will be transport available for all young people eligible for free school transport. We are working with services to ensure that this will be in place and liaising fully with families and the affected schools and colleges, to keep them updated.
“We fully understand the distress this has caused for all families affected to find this out at such a late stage and we are doing all we can to mitigate the situation with the limited powers we have to support. However, beyond the pupils whom we have a responsibility for, no further reassurances can be given at this time as it is a commercial decision for any bus company to take on the service route.”