Friday, October 11, 2013

Harris Academy transport situation - an update

Further to my previous article about the need to review Harris Academy bus provision, yesterday there was clarification on the situation by Dundee City Council transportation team as follows:

“I am sure you will be pleased to hear that the additional bus on the route of the 12S is to continue after the October break.  The bus will remain in place until any future review of passenger loadings indicates that it is no longer required.

Operationally, I can advise that the duplicate 12S bus will commence from the bus stop known as 'Perth Road near West Park Road'.    This will reduce perceived congestion around Clovis Duveau Drive at 0805-0810. 

I have also secured agreement from National Express Dundee that a larger capacity vehicle will be allocated to the 11S route.   This will generate space for an additional 8 pupils. 

Perth & Kinross Council have advised that, with effect from 21 October 2013, some Longforgan based pupils will be offered concessionary places on the Stagecoach bus that commences in Invergowrie.   This should relieve some of the pressure on the 11S and 12S. 

I have relaxed the guidance issued to drivers about boarding arrangements in the morning, which means that pupils waiting at Clovis Duveau Drive will be free to choose which bus they travel on to school.   I will keep this under review.

Having discussed the timings with senior staff at the school, it is not proposed to amend the current timetable.

Letters to parents were sent out earlier this week, advising them of arrangements for renewing pupils season tickets.  In August 2013, we had advised all parents by letter that season tickets should be retained and that further instruction would be issued during the October holidays.  I will consider whether this 'renewal' letter can, in future, be issued before the schools break for their holidays.”

In addition to the sensible decision to keep the second 12S school bus, it makes sense that it starts further down the route to avoid any bus getting over-full and I also welcome the larger capacity bus on the other route – the 11S.  

I do still feel that a marginal alteration of the bus times would have ensured that no pupil arrives late or misses the afternoon bus and I have asked that council officers reconsider this.