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PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2010 11:56 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2009 2:09 pm
Posts: 178
Location: Great Notley
I have today received a letter from CSSE and 1st travel informing us that our DD has not been allocated a seat on the 508 bus due to being over subscribed. We have been offered instead the 509 bus which takes a longer route and does not have seatbelts.
The 508 bus starts at Great Dunmow (0705) and travels through Stebbing (0719) to Whitecourt (0737) then through Braintree and straight on to Colchester arriving at 0830. This yellow school bus seats 60 and has seatbelts. The 509 is a single decker bus which starts at Whitecourt (0729) and travels through Braintree stopping also at Baytree (0744), Bradwell (0747), coggeshall x4 stops (then nasty junction to negotiate), Marks Tey x2 stops and then onto Colchester. Then there is the journey back.
We will have to accept a seat on the 509 bus as we dont have much choice really but are non too pleased as it takes longer and `goes round the houses` and does not have seatbelts, something I do feel strongly about.
Now, I have rung the bus company and have learned that they are looking to possible put on another bus if the need is there, there are currently about 39 people wanting another bus and now 6 for the girls school have been left off the 508 this year, that does not include those that may still get into Colchester and are still waiting. Nor does it include other schools that use these buses (CRGS/St Marys). Just a thought as well, what will they do when the schools have exchange students??
I have been told to write in to the bus company and request another school bus as soon as possible and was asked to get others to do the same if they are in a similar situation. If anyone needs the address details then please PM me and I will give you contact details.


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PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 8:44 am 
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Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2009 12:47 pm
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Location: Essex
I wonder why they've asked you to write. Surely they know the demand from the number of applicants they've diverted from the 508 to the 509?


Last edited by First-timer on Tue Nov 23, 2010 7:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 11:19 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2010 9:29 am
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Thanks for the heads up NP. My DD is 1 on the waiting list and if she is offered will go from Whitecourts too. More than happy to join forces with you all if and when offered.

Good luck with the discussions.


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PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 11:58 am 
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Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2009 2:09 pm
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Location: Great Notley
I have been informed that they need a certain amount of passengers to warrant putting another bus on and the 39 they have waiting for another is not quite enough. So if more people write in and voice their concerns, the manager then has a case to go towards his managers in the hope of getting another bus put on for this route, with seatbelts!!


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PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 8:37 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 02, 2008 11:12 pm
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What the CSSE don't tell you about the First Bus which they arrange, is that not only do you not get a seat belt, you are not even guaranteed a seat!!! :shock: :x

This practice is contrary to the student travel policies of both Essex County Council and Southend Borough Council, but as they do not arrange the transport, they are unable to do anything about it.

Also, as you have discovered, the routing of the transport often means that there are a lot of pick up stops en route, and this makes a long day even longer - especially at a time when they are just getting used to the whole new school thing!

So, after nearly 2 years of complaining about this disgusting state of affairs, we have now signed up to use another service, arranged privately by parents in the Billericay area.

I know that parents in the north of the county also arranged for a private service for travel from north of Chelmsford to Southend schools. I did contact one earlier this year who PMd me and provided lots of really helpful information.

There are details of this on previous threads in the Essex forum (see transport from billericay to westcliff schools as an example) - perhaps you might like to have a look?

If there are enough of you, then you may find that you can make a more convenient (although unlikely to be cheaper) arrangement for your DCs.

Good Luck! :)


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PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 8:46 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2008 2:28 pm
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You could try contacting the schools to see if they would be prepared to send info to parents on your behalf?


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PostPosted: Fri May 21, 2010 12:03 am 
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Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2009 2:09 pm
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Location: Great Notley
Many thanks for your replies. The lady at the CSSE was unable to pass on any name/address info to me (data protection), all she could tell me was 6 others were unable to get on the 508 bus, she was also unable to pass on any letter that I was willing to give them. Not very helpful. Hence me starting this thread in the hope of getting other parents in a similar situation to write in, in the hope of getting another bus put on.
With regards to the seating on this 509 bus, thankfully they do guarantee a seat. Years ago they didnt and students were able to stand as well until an accident occured when someone was hurt and they changed their policies.
On another note...My DH did point out earlier that if someone had offered our DD a place at GS, say a year ago on the 509 we would have jumped at it regardless of journey/seatbelts so I am still immensely grateful of our situation and will somehow get her safely to school in September even if I have to give her a piggyback myself!!


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PostPosted: Fri May 21, 2010 8:35 am 
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Hi NP
I was thinking of CRGS & ColchesterCHS rather than CSSE.
They might be prepared to send something out as a general email to existing parents &/or add the information in the new parents pack.
Certainly the ladies in the CRGS office are always helpful so it would be worth contacting them to see what they can do.

Its a shame that practical hassles spoil the excitment of starting at a great new school.

Hope you get it sorted out.

Just another thought - could you try phoning local primary schools & see if they have children going on to Colchester GSs. They might be prepared to pass your details on to the relevant parents?


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PostPosted: Fri May 21, 2010 3:14 pm 
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St Mary's , Colchester High school and St Benedicts may all be worth a try as well.


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PostPosted: Fri May 21, 2010 3:41 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2008 2:28 pm
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Remember seeing an article in the local press about this - or related to it - a while ago.
Maybe they would run something again which might generate some interest from other parents?


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