September 25, 2017
Avalon Coaches loses Somerset County Council's school bus contract

Somerset County Council has this week terminated its school transport contract with Avalon Coaches following performance concerns.

Parents at several schools across Somerset have been informed of new travel arrangements after the authority ended its transport contract today (Monday).

Alternative transport arrangements have been put in place to transport 437 students to and from the schools from Tuesday morning (September 26th).

New contractors will start to collect schoolchildren attending a number of schools in the Mendip and Sedgemoor areas from Tuesday morning, replacing Avalon Coaches.

Excluding a change in supplier, there will be no other changes to the scheduled routes or times of the school transport service, says the council.

All affected schools have been made aware of the changes in supplier today and parents/guardians are due to receive a text message from Transporting Somerset if they have signed up to this service.

Somerset County Council’s Cabinet Member for Children’s Services Councillor Frances Nicholson said: "It is unfortunate that we have had to take this step but getting children to and from school is a big responsibility and we have to get it right."

"There are over 650 vehicles taking over 9,000 students to and from schools across Somerset every day and it is paramount our transport suppliers meet our high standards in ensuring these services run smoothly, safely and efficiently."

"Avalon Coaches have failed to meet our standards recently. Issues include school transport failing to arrive at all and significant delays to journey times. Somerset County Council has therefore instructed new suppliers to run Avalon’s former transport services from tomorrow morning."

Once a set number of failings occur within a set time frame, Somerset County Council can terminate a contract and it can select a number of suppliers to cover the new service.

The affected schools are Wedmore First School (Primary Schools), Wells Blue, St Dunstan’s, Crispins, Chilton Trinity and Kings of Wessex (secondary schools); Hugh Sexey’s Middle School (Middle school) and Coxley, Ashcott and Catcott.


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