Changes to bus routes and numbering
821 Bus info…..Click Here 822 Bus info…..Click Here 823 Bus Info…..Click Here 894 Bus Info…..Click Here
Welcome back to the start of a new academic year at school. We are very sorry that there have been some immediate issues regarding some of the school bus routes and numbering.
Solihull Council put out a tender over the summer months for some of our bus routes for school. This has resulted in some changes which unfortunately were not communicated to us until this first week of term which has not allowed the opportunity, as we would like, to keep our parents and carers fully informed ahead of any changes.
Please find below (in italics) the responses from Solihull Council to a number of questions that I have put to them over yesterday and today. I am hopeful that this letter will answer any outstanding questions you may have and give our parents/carers and students reassurance going forward. If you do have any further questions can you please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. The service as detailed below is run by SMBC who have co-ordinated the new tender arrangements and deal directly with the bus companies on any queries you may have.
The local authority and the school have received lots of feedback from parents on the operational changes to the following school bus services to Blossomfield campus. This note sets out why we have changed things and how we intend to go forward.
Timetables from September 2019
821 (previously 8224)
895 * (previously 8944)
* The 895 will stop at the 3 bus stops along Monkspath Hall Road (even if the signs say ‘not in use’)
The bus timetables will be published on our website shortly. We are working towards publishing route maps as well.
The contracts for these buses expired in August 2019. The Council reviewed the existing routes based on information of student numbers provided by the previous suppliers.
We have adjusted the buses and routes according to our understanding of demand from those who qualify for free travel assistance under the terms of the Council’s home to school travel assistance policy. There has not been a consultation because those who qualify for free travel assistance still have a service available.
We fully accept that we have not adequately communicated changes to all users of these buses and we are really sorry about that.
Many parents are concerned about capacity on the buses. I can confirm that there is the same number of seats available now compared with last term. However, some buses are now running with spare seats while others are over-full.
The following changes will be made from Monday 9 September to manage the use of buses.
821, 822 and 823 – Dickens Heath, Tidbury Green and surrounding area
The 821 and 822 will now stop and pick up in Dingle Lane rather than Alderbrook site. All students living in Dickens Heath must use one of these services to get to any school on the Blossomfield campus, either Alderbrook School, Tudor Grange Academy or St Peter’s Catholic School.
The 823 will no longer stop in Dickens Heath. This will allow capacity for students who live in the Tidbury Green and outlying areas.
The 894 and 895 – Cheswick Green
Both of these buses start in Cheswick Green. Students in will be asked to fill the 894 first. When it is full it will depart and students will then board the 895. This will allow capacity for students living in Monkspath. The two coaches being run by Hollywood Travel for the Council currently have 15 fewer seats than the 2 buses previously running these routes. In the short term Hollywood Travel is running a 16-seater minibus behind the 895 to ensure no students are left without a bus to school.
The new routes are now private school bus services rather than public services. This means that all passes to use a bus are issued by Solihull Council. Students will either qualify for a free pass or a pass can be purchased if there is a spare seat available. The cost this year is £111 per term or £310 for the year.
If parents/carers have already purchased a bus pass from a provider other than Solihull Council we will honour those passes for the term or year as appropriate, but when expired you will need to purchase a pass from Solihull Council. However, cash payments on the buses cannot be accepted.
If you have any feedback or further questions please email edtrans@so/ihull.aov.uk
We have received timetabling information which we hope you will find helpful together with a form to purchase bus passes as required and these are included with this letter. As mentioned in the text above from Solihull Council they hope to have full maps and routes published shortly.
We have been speaking to the students in their assemblies this week and will be sending a hard copy of this letter home with them in form time on Monday and all of this information will also be published on the homepage of our website through a link.
We hope that this information today has provided some reassurance and that your child’s journey in and out of school if affected by these changes, will now operate smoothly.
Staff will be present at Dingle Lane on Monday morning (9th September) to ensure students coming in from the 821 and 822 buses are aware they can come through the gate on Dingle Lane directly into Alderbrook School and do not have to walk round via Blossomfield Road.
Dr J Smith