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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 9:11 am 
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Joined: Wed Jul 01, 2009 7:53 pm
Posts: 92
Thought it might be useful to let people know the following info. which I received via email from The Green Bus Company last night.

Over recent weeks, The Green Bus has been negotiating next year's child fares with Centro. Centro offers half-price bus travel to children for their journeys to and from school; this is because Centro (like us) aim to reduce car usage and increase the use of the bus. In order to put this policy into practice, Centro pays the difference between the adult fare and the child fare for all pupils in the West Midlands.

At the moment, we charge parents for an child annual bus pass. As with all other bus passes in the West Midlands, Centro then makes up the difference between that and the adult fare, so that you only have to pay the child rate.

In recent discussions with Centro it has become clear that they wish to cut child fare funding to The Green Bus, either by 50% or completely. This would leave parents to pay an additional £300 or £600 per pass, which we think is completely unacceptable - particularly when many family budgets are already under pressure. It would be entirely wrong for Centro to cut child fare funding to The Green Bus and not to other bus companies.

Centro's view seems to be that The Green Bus is a "nice to have" service but, without it, families could manage perfectly well: pupils could just travel on the ordinary bus network without any impact at all. We have put it very clearly to Centro that the ordinary bus network is no substitute: many pupils would have multiple changes of bus; journeys would be much longer (up to an hour longer each way for some pupils); drivers would not be CRB checked; buses would not be independently safety-checked; no text messages would be sent - the list goes on. Sadly, our arguments seem to have fallen on deaf ears.

Time is now short. Centro's new arrangements will come into force on 1 April 2012 - if they pass through unchanged, that would mean bus pass price increases from September 2012


As the current Green Bus full pass price is already £595 per year if the cost goes up by the full £600 quoted it will make this over £1000. I am sure this will cause many families severe difficulties. If you have any ideas that may help the bus company in their negotiations with Centro I am sure that would welcome you contacting them.

If the cost does go up we are going to have to consider our DD getting another service to KECHG and this would involve a 20 minute walk (there and back) to the nearest bus stop (with dark mornings and evenings in winter), the unreliability of a 'public' service and us not knowing whether or not the bus has safely arrived at school.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 11:27 am 
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Joined: Wed Jul 07, 2010 12:45 pm
Posts: 390
I am really concerned about this. Anyone who wishes can fill in a survey of support for no increase on www.thegreenbus.co.uk/centro

Apologies mods if this post is not allowed.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 2:47 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2005 6:29 pm
Posts: 24
This is a grotesque hike in fares - completely unacceptable - I agree we should sign the survey. First the axing of EMA, then child benefits and now this - whatever is next? Double the cost of books and school lunches?
What infuriates me is the fact that the government on one hand call for a fair and equitable society where every child has the right to a decent education and then this drops from no-where. Capitalism at its “best”. Centro really should be lobbied against! – I shall be writing to my local MP.

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Farooq

(In the field of observation, chance favors the prepared mind. Louis Pasteur)


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 9:40 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 30, 2009 12:06 pm
Posts: 2093
Location: Birmingham
The price hike appears to be true and will affect many families, including those who have just been through the admissions process and did not expect these prices.
I particularly feel for those with more than one child on the Green bus.

For many families, there isn't really an alternative as public transport could mean two or three changes and hours of difficult commuting for their children.

I have linked to a news report below:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-bi ... m-17359832


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 8:49 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2012 8:48 pm
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There is an update to the situation on here: http://www.thegreenbus.co.uk/Centro/
A petition can be signed here: http://www.change.org/petitions/centro- ... -green-bus

Don't forget to follow The Green Bus on Twitter (@The_Green_Bus) and on Facebook.

Spread the word, they need all our support!


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 11:21 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 04, 2006 4:23 pm
Posts: 125
Location: Dudley, West Midlands
um wrote:
For many families, there isn't really an alternative as public transport could mean two or three changes and hours of difficult commuting for their children.
I don’t really care if all our kids travel for free but, from the perspective of someone travelling around 10 miles in from the west, I’ve always found Green Busses to be distinctly uncompetitive on both price and speed compared to general public transport. They’re reassuring for parents of Y7’s unused to getting themselves around, sure. Is around £450 a day per bus for two one(ish) hour journeys reasonable? They’ll have to absorb some of the subsidy loss themselves or parents will quickly notice there are cheaper and faster alternatives.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 11:26 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2012 8:48 pm
Posts: 2
Dibble wrote:
um wrote:
For many families, there isn't really an alternative as public transport could mean two or three changes and hours of difficult commuting for their children.
I don’t really care if all our kids travel for free but, from the perspective of someone travelling around 10 miles in from the west, I’ve always found Green Busses to be distinctly uncompetitive on both price and speed compared to general public transport. They’re reassuring for parents of Y7’s unused to getting themselves around, sure. Is around £450 a day per bus for two one(ish) hour journeys reasonable? They’ll have to absorb some of the subsidy loss themselves or parents will quickly notice there are cheaper and faster alternatives.


The Green Bus certainly isn't suitable for everybody- but it definitely helps out a lot of students and parents across the region. The routes are calculated by postcode as to ensure a good route for everybody. Inevitably there are some people who will find faster/cheaper ways elsewhere- but for many, this isn't the case.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 11:54 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 30, 2009 12:06 pm
Posts: 2093
Location: Birmingham
I agree that the Green bus is expensive - ds1 takes the local bus service to CHB, and, happily, ds2 will do that also. It is a pretty direct route from the end of our road to the front entrance of CH.
But if any of my younger children needed to travel to KE Aston or Handsworth, the public transport journey would be all but impossible to manage - the Green bus passes very close and would actually be the only viable transport option that I can think of . I am sure there are many families in a similar position.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 7:54 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 18, 2012 5:30 pm
Posts: 228
Our child uses the GB, it's convenience, punctuality, cleanliness, safety and reliability are second to none. In addition the app to track the bus enroute is second to none for pick ups. There are certain things in life one can't put too much a heavy price on, we just cut back on some trivial luxuries to fund the GB.

Apologies, forgot to mention my child's school for the umpteenth time...


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 8:02 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 18, 2012 5:30 pm
Posts: 228
:D :D :D


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