Please note this post may be updated as information changes. Last update was on 02/07/2022. Follow my page on Facebook for the very latest developments.
We are aware of anxiety about the S85 and S83 school services following the announcement by the operator Diamond Buses to deregister it after the schools break up.
I know you will all want certainty before the schools go back. I hope to update everyone as much as I can as this situation evolves.
I understand these services are not an ordinary bus service – they are not for use by the general public and have never been subsidised or supported by Worcestershire County Council.
We understand in the case of the S85 for Studley this service was set up originally as a private contract between Dudley’s and Studley High, which was then taken over by Johnson’s and then more recently by Diamond Buses. Each parent pays for their child to go on the bus. I am not certain what the history is for the S83 Bromsgrove service. Please feel free to email me if you have background information you can share.
I am told, in the case of the S85 for Studley, it would cost at least £4 per passenger per day to make it viable – based on 200 school days per year this would be £800 per year or £267 across the 3 terms. This would be based on the bus being full every day – if it’s not full, the cost base goes up. So it’s feasible that any operator could well expect a fee well above £4 to provide resilience against closures, sickness, etc. I imagine a similar situation applies for the S83 to Bromsgrove.
Despite the fact that Worcestershire County Council does not subsidise this service and it is essentially a private contract, I am willing to do what I can to help the schools find a new operator or work out some other solutions. We are here to help and we will do our best.
I am in communication with the school(s) and hope we can find a way forward at this challenging time. Hope to update again soon.