School Bus – Change of Providers and Southampton delays
You will be aware from previous Headteacher newsletters and school communications that the First bus company have given the school notice on their yellow buses. This has affected a number of schools in Hampshire.
This will affect the provision of the following routes:
Kings’ One from Romsey Bus Station
Kings’ Two from Waltham Chase
Kings’ Three from Bitterne and Swaythling
We are pleased that we have managed to find another bus company who is able to take on these routes. From 19th February, after the half term holiday, these buses will be provided by Wheelers. The routes and timings will remain as published but please be aware that it will take some time for the new company and drivers to become familiar with the routes and recognise their passengers. We would recommend allowing an extra few minutes at the bus stop to make sure pupils catch the bus. Pupils should look out for buses marked with the Wheelers logo and not the yellow First buses.
Wheelers drivers will only permit travel for those pupils carrying Kings’ School issued bus passes. Whilst pupils coming into school will not be refused the drivers will not allow pupils to travel home on the bus unless they are in possession of a valid bus pass. Any pupils without a valid pass will need to visit Reception and parents will be contacted before issue of a temporary permit.
The bus company have noted that major road works are about to start on The Avenue, after the junction of the M3 and A33. The Avenue will be closed entirely southbound for a period of approximately 4 weeks from 12 February and traffic delays are expected. It is hoped that this will not affect timings for the Kings’ Three route coming into school bit there could be delays in the afternoon bus reaching its later stops. Wheelers will keep us advised and tell us if they need to make changes to timings as a result.
The late bus was previously also supplied by First. The cost of continuing this service with 2 buses has become prohibitive but, following consultation, we are able to run a late bus to serve our catchment area in Colden Common. This service will be provided by Airlynx. This is an additional cost to the school and so we have had to increase the fare payable for use of the late bus to £3 per trip. Please note that the tickets must be bought from Reception before travel. The drivers will not allow travel without a valid ticket. Any pupil seeking to buy a late bus ticket must have the money to do so. Should pupils not have the money in their possession to purchase a ticket then their parents will be contacted to discuss alternative travel arrangements.
The details of all the routes, timings, operators and late bus fares are in the attached note here and are published on the school website.
We very much regret that First Bus have withdrawn from their contract with Kings’ and that we are forced to make these changes. It is hoped that the new arrangements will work smoothly once they are brought into effect on 19th February.
School Business Manager