Many worried parents have been in touch with me concerned about the poor school bus provision from Cowbridge Comprehensive. Despite increasing the catchment area that Vale Council do somehow not believe in extending the school bus provision to match.
Parents are now faced with a £950 payment on the 30th June for a school bus pass with a private provider. The Councils response is below. I am disappointed and angry at the poor response that does not address parent’s strong concerns.
Please join me, local Councillors and other parents for a meeting on the 8th July to discuss the issue. Please get in touch with me for more details.
"There are a number of “private” school bus services that have been arranged over the years and funded by parents / carers with no involvement from the Council.
I appreciate that due to the catchment area change numbers of pupils who may have purchased a place on the private bus may have fallen. However, parents / carers took the decision to send their child to a non-catchment school and arrange transport themselves. In the correspondence received from parents this does not seem to be disputed.
With regard to the cost being charged, that is a matter for the bus operator to consider. However, I can tell you that the cost per day for the service is around £195 based on 38 pupils paying £970 per year. To put that into context, recent tenders for school transport services have returned prices between £300 and £400 per day. The offer of £195 per day therefore seems a very reasonably one to me.
Due to the pandemic, cost of living increases and extremely high fuel prices, as a Council we are finding prices for bus services, both local and school, have increased dramatically. So much so we are having to fund overspends in both the supported bus and school transport budgets.
We will therefore not be looking to extend free transport to those who do not qualify for it or fund a larger bus to sell spaces.
The deadline date of 30th June will be a matter for Caring Coaches to consider and not the Council."