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Regarding school transport?

(18 Posts)
GibberTheMonkey Wed 03-Jul-13 15:59:41

I probably am, I normally am apparently, so my children say.

Dd was allocated a school out of town as the primary within walking distance was full. It's a good enough school so there were no worries there but it does mean she has to get a minibus in. I don't drive (yet) so we are completely reliant on it.
This is fine until I need to go in which then costs me £16 each time, £8 each way. I don't go to everything, I miss after school sales for example but try to pick the important things such as nativities and sports day as it adds up.

Soon they will be going on an exciting whole of the school trip. The trip finishes after normal school hours 4.15 so they need collecting, because its not at the normal time the bus isn't running.
So it's going to cost me another £16 for dd to go on the trip.

Am I being unreasonable to think that as the whole school are going all the children (10 or so)who normally go on the bus could probably still do with a lift home and that they could just delay the bus for them all?

And to be annoyed that I either have to pay again or she loses out on something the whole school are doing and misses a whole day of school? They even have posters up about how important attendance is.

RumersHasIt Wed 03-Jul-13 16:06:18

I used to be in the exact same situation.

My dd was allocated a specialist place in a language unit nursery. It was several towns away, so the council hired a taxi to take her and drop her off each day, and also supplied her with an escort.

This was all wonderful except on the days i also had to go to nursery for meetings, sports day, shows, fayres, trips etc.

It cost a lot of money for me to hire a taxi there and back.

In the end i managed to sort out a train route. It meant changing trains twice, but it was much cheaper, despite it taking much longer due to the long wait between trains.

Anyway, not much advice. Could you speak to the school and ask if they'd help you round up local parents and try to work out something between yourselves? Maybe one parent could bring them home if you all chipped in/paid her/him something?

Or could you look into nearby train stations?

The minibus will have specified contract hours. Asking them to work outwith those times will cost the council/LA a lot, and they just won't pay it.

GibberTheMonkey Wed 03-Jul-13 16:12:24

There are no trains or buses. It's rural Norfolk

I don't actually know any of the parents really. Not being at the school gate means I haven't had the chance to meet them. I hope to have passed my driving test by the end of the year so will get to meet some then, of course that also means I won't need to solve the problem.
I actually hate asking for lifts, I've always been independent and we moved to a town, even though we prefer the country, so that I could walk to everything we need.

I guess I just need to put up with it until I pass but it still annoys me as a matter of principle.

thebody Wed 03-Jul-13 16:16:43

Completely see your predicament as your child was placed at a school out if walking distance and thats hardly your fault.

Still I guess some posters will come in and say you are lucky to get school transport at all so it's a tricky one.

Good luck with the driving test.

JedwardScissorhands Wed 03-Jul-13 16:24:08

Are you on the waiting list for the local school?

OwlinaTree Wed 03-Jul-13 16:29:41

Presumably a few children are getting this minibus regularly. Maybe you could offer some cash to another parent to share lifts to events? Or do non of the others drive either? Do you walk to the minibus stop with her? Can you chat to some parents then?

Is the whole school trip going somewhere in a coach? Could you speak to the school about doing an extra drop at your normal stop or do other children get on in different places?

halcyondays Wed 03-Jul-13 16:35:48

it sounds difficult, I think your best bet is probably to see if the coach could drop them off at the usual stop if its on the way, or wont cost any extra if it makes a slight detour.

at our school trips usually seem to come back in time for the usual sometime, but about 9 or 10 times during the school year, they finish early, e.g for end of term and the school buses don"t run then. they will also be starting back earlier after the summer and do two half days and the buses wont run then.

GibberTheMonkey Wed 03-Jul-13 16:41:30

Thebody- that's a whole other ball game. We live about 2.9 miles from the school. Once they reach 8 they have to live over 3 miles to get transport. Apparently I'm supposed to walk her that distance down a busy country lane with no footpaths.
Her brother is starting in September so they will be coming here anyway. They agreed to his transport easily enough even though we actually applied for that school because dd was there and I cannot be in two places at once. (Also I suspect to free up another sibling place at the local school which makes their lives easier)
Presumably instead I'll have to walk him too otherwise there will be no one here for him when he arrives home.
Please let me pass my test

Jedward- No, she's 7 next month and on her third school so we don't want to move her again.

My friend thanks has just texted to say she'll do it. She doesn't have a child there but I'll give her some petrol money and we both win as she gains some extra petrol too. Thank goodness for good friends and doing each other favours eh

GibberTheMonkey Wed 03-Jul-13 16:44:40

The body- smileand thanks

MiaowTheCat Wed 03-Jul-13 18:14:38

Could you suggest the PTA or similar run a car-share matchmaking scheme for getting to/from school events for parents? Would tick a lot of the school boxes about trying to be eco-friendly and cut down on the whacky races car antics outside school as well. Doesn't immediately solve the trip issue but might be something to follow up in time to come?

CloudsAndTrees Wed 03-Jul-13 18:53:11

Gad you've got it sorted.

It wouldn't have been reasonable to delay the bus, there may be other children that have after school activities to get to and they need to be home on time for that.

Sharptic Wed 03-Jul-13 19:02:13

Gibber, I may be wrong but the 3 mile limit for over 8 yrs was changed last year. Think it's 2 miles for all primary age children now, or it is in my county, thought it was national.

Glad ur sorted.

GibberTheMonkey Wed 03-Jul-13 19:20:27

Clouds. The bus only carries children from that school and it was a whole school trip so they would all be arriving back at the same time.

GibberTheMonkey Wed 03-Jul-13 19:21:26

Sharptic - it hasn't changed on the council website but this is Norfolk and it can be a bit slow. grin

MissStrawberry Wed 03-Jul-13 19:28:46

Have you talked to the school about the difficulties out of hours trips bring? Maybe they would be willing to delay the bus or run it twice if only they were asked.

Sokmonsta Wed 03-Jul-13 21:34:53

Tbh I'm surprised if its a whole school trip that they won't be back at normal end of school time. I know our school has a whole school trip coming up, although I don't yet know what time they are expected back so have pm'd you in case we're at the same school.

Bejeena Fri 05-Jul-13 17:48:03

2.9 miles is a distance you can walk/cycle as a one off though surely?

GibberTheMonkey Sat 06-Jul-13 16:28:08

In the end my husband made sure he was seeing clients in the area and collected her. Not something he could do again though

Bejeena. I would have had a preschooler (non pushchair) with me so would have had to walk there 2.9 miles and then back again with two tired children. They can walk ten miles in a day but not after a day doing something else it would have been too much. It would be 2? Hours of walking for ds.

Anyway they break up soon. Must pass my test smile

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