Schoolkids from outwith area denied use of buses

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robertclark125

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Imagine the situation. You live in a rural area, and you've chosen to send your kids to a high school of your choice, outwith the catchment area of that school, as you're entitled to do. The bus they use is subsidised by the local authority, and they have to pay their fare. The bus is a stage carriage service, picking up and setting down en route.

And then you get a letter from the school or council, telling you that as of the new term in August, your kids, as they go to a school outwith the catchment area, will not, I repeat, NOT be able to use the local bus service, on which they pay their fare. Instead, the bus service, subsidised by the council, but run as a stage carriage service, will go past them.

You couldn't make it up could you?

Well, it appears Perth and Kinross has. I don't kid you here! The links are below, and you can give your own thoughts in this thread. One thing I'd say, if the kids paying their fare cannot use the bus, surely that could push the subsidy up?

http://www.perthshireadvertiser.co....furious-response-from-parents-73103-31283176/

and also

http://www.perthshireadvertiser.co....re-increases-and-service-cuts-73103-31283174/
 
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robertclark125

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That's absolutely correct. What gives the council the right to tell the operator, in the case of the 204 Hamish Gordon, that it cannot pick up school kids? I know its subsidised by P&K council, but it's still stage carriage
 
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MCR247

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That something someone needs to tell the daily mail about - something will get sorted then :lol:
 

jopsuk

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when i was at school, if we stayed late there were a couple of "public" buses that we couldn't catch, as they mainly carried pupils from a nearby fee-paying school, who had a tendency to look upon a lone kid in my school's uniform as "prey". After too many problems, the drivers refused to let us on- for our safety, and because he could not possibly be expected to keep discipline on his bus whilst driving
 

WatcherZero

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Ok as I read this story, may be incorrect:

* Local Council subsidises three bus services used by the public and school children that serve several local schools.
* Some children are using this bus service to get to schools in a neighbouring Local Council area and they arent in those schools catchment areas.
* To ensure theres room on the subsidised bus services for the kids attending schools in their own district the Council want to exclude pupils from the neighbouring authority schools using the services by banning children who arent entitled to free bus travel or within school catchment areas of the bus service.

Edit: Dont know the area but looks like the A9 forms the boundary between two parish councils, the schools on one side the village on the other.
 
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bb21

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The first story with the 23 route is really about fare increases, and nothing to do with not being carried, as an identical replacement is available, in the shape of the 823.

The second story baffles me, as this is surely not enforceable.
 

neilmc

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I don't think it can be done either, if it's a stage carriage service on which members of the public are carried. It would be the same as not letting black people use the bus, or refusing to take pensioners because they are travelling for free. Surely one for the Traffic Commissioners?
 

neilmc

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It really, really wouldn't be the same as this.
Why not? It is discrimination against a section of the community who wish to use a public bus service - it's not a privately contracted school service!

Unless there is something inaccurate in the reportage this is surely equally illegal as to discriminate on grounds of race or gender, and I have never before heard of this being attempted in the UK.
 

scotsman

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Edit: Dont know the area but looks like the A9 forms the boundary between two parish councils, the schools on one side the village on the other.
Aw bless...parish councils. Yes, give or take the non-existence of parish councils (we still have parish boundaries, strangely enough) that's correct.
 

Deerfold

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That's absolutely correct. What gives the council the right to tell the operator, in the case of the 204 Hamish Gordon, that it cannot pick up school kids? I know its subsidised by P&K council, but it's still stage carriage
I can only assume that in the new contract it will be a private bus and will not pick up *anyone* without the required pass - but that would suggest it might require a higher subsidy (I don't think it'd qualify for BSOG either).

If not it seems to be unenforcable.
 

jopsuk

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Why not? It is discrimination against a section of the community who wish to use a public bus service - it's not a privately contracted school service!

Unless there is something inaccurate in the reportage this is surely equally illegal as to discriminate on grounds of race or gender, and I have never before heard of this being attempted in the UK.
I despair that you cannot see the difference between discriminating because of which school parents choose to sent their kids too and racial discrimination. Especially given the sort of example I gave further up of a good reason (that of inter-school disorder that a bus driver cannot be expected to control).

Do remember that in the vast majority of cases kids not going to their catchment-area secondary, other than Catholics, in Scotland are doing so because their parents feel the assigned school isn't good enough for their little darlings but won't pay to go private (they of course will have had to come up with some other reason than this to do so, but that's usually the root reason).
 

neilmc

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If it remains a public bus service and doesn't get switched to a "contract", it will be interesting to see what Stagecoach have to say in their timetable when it takes place. Fortunately Scottish people don't tend to submit meekly to what schemes local councils come up with and I'm pretty sure we haven't heard the last of this!
 

robertclark125

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The service 204 switches from Stagecoach Fife to Hamish Gordon at the August timetable change (new term), and indeed, both the cancellation by stagecoach Fife and the registration of the new service by HG have taken place. The registration doesn't state that it doesn't pick up schoolkids.

I don't see how a ban on schoolkids is enforcable.

That said, when the tenders went out, I wonder if those bidding were told of this change. If they did, well, they received plenty warning. If they didn't, and they based their tender on picking up fare paying schoolkids, then questions will have to be asked.
 
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