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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2012 4:01 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 01, 2011 12:02 pm
Posts: 22
My DD is in Year 5, and we are planning to move at the end of her Year 6. Right now Colchester is probably our preferred location. I thought I'd bring up my question while there's so much discussion about transport going on.

We would want to minimise my daughter's commute as we know that a long one would not suit her. When I read about kids taking buses with 45 min journeys, my initial reaction was that this would be too much and we would want to make sure to live in the area around whatever school she goes to. But when I look into the detail of this, I wonder if this would really be any easier or much quicker. Although the schools in Colchester (and Southend) are in residential areas, realistically most of the houses seem to be probably a 30 min walk away (carrying lots of stuff, otherwise not a problem), or you have to get on a local bus. Of course with public buses you usually end up waiting 15-20 min, then may not even get on the bus, then the journey is very slow the for the distance covered. So in comparison, maybe 40-45 min journey on a private bus you get right onto and sit down on is better.

Does anyone have thoughts on this based on experience or things you have heard?


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2012 4:17 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 05, 2010 1:18 pm
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I can only comment on my DS's experience over the last two years. He travels to Colchester on a private bus that usually takes about 35/40 minutes. With DS2 now going as well, we have had similar conversations about possibly moving. DS1 was not too pleased at this idea as the bus journeys are almost the best part of the day. He thoroughly enjoys "winding down" and chatting with his friends and the girls, that catch the same bus.

Likewise, after choir, he has travelled home on the public bus but this does take longer and he sometimes does not get a seat for some of the journey.

The bus journey for my DS has never been a problem. Hope this helps. :)


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2012 4:31 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2011 4:42 pm
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My son travels from Chelmsford to Colchester on a private bus, and my experience exactly mirrors that of sep18. The journey is the highlight of the day for him. He has built a number of friendships, and I believe the experience also gives him a sense of independence........"whats said on the bus stays on the bus!!!!!!" :wink:


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2012 5:12 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 16, 2010 12:20 pm
Posts: 313
A 40/45 minute bus journey, I think, is quite reasonable for travelling to and from school. Once the children are on the bus, that is it - no changing buses, long walks either end (this is the case for my children anyway). It certainly helps to know that, once on, they can relax and chat with friends. My two have never complained about the length of journey, they're just used to it.

Public transport is available but we use a private company which is 100% reliable. They will get the children to and from school whatever the weather and, if they break down, another bus is always sent out. They're a brilliant company and we are very lucky.

Colchester, as lovely as it is, is a very congested town and a bus journey, say from Lexden Road to somewhere near the General Hospital could take nearly as long (if not longer) than a journey outside of Colchester. It could well be that your DD's journey could be a similar length to the above even though you may be in the same town.

The ideal situation would be if you were within a 10 minute walk of your preferred school but this is not the case for many people. :)


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 12:02 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 01, 2011 12:02 pm
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Thanks for sharing your views and experience, this has been helpful. I can see that either way, you end up with a moderately long commute, and at least with a private bus she would arrive rested up rather than tired out.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 12:23 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2009 2:09 pm
Posts: 178
Location: Great Notley
We live at Great Notley and our DD gets the 7.40am bus to Colchester every day and is home by about 4.40pm. Its a long day but they soon adjust, I think the first term in year 7 was the worse having been used to a ten minute walk to school but she wouldnt change it for the world, she loves her school. The buses are reliable and I know she is safely delivered to school every day, should she be unfortunate to miss her bus there is a public bus that runs along the same route if need be.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 12:34 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2011 8:44 am
Posts: 1390
Location: Reading
NOTLEY PARENTS wrote:
The buses are reliable and I know she is safely delivered to school every day, should she be unfortunate to miss her bus there is a public bus that runs along the same route if need be.


That must be a comfort - I still remember my Mum driving me round Harlow in her dressing gown and slippers trying to catch up with the school coach to Loughton as there was no way of getting there by public transport. I was first or second pickup so we had a good chance of success in the chase :) :D The joys of parenthood :D


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 9:31 am 
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Joined: Sat Nov 19, 2011 6:14 pm
Posts: 25
Hi All

Can I just ask those who currently use some of the private bus arrangements - does this restrict your child from participating in any after school activities? I am not sure how many of these are offered in year 7 - but I would imagine my DS would want to go to one or two, particular if they are sports related. I would hate to restrict him because of having to catch a coach on time, so my ideal arrangement would be a part week coach, part week public transport arrangement. WOuld be good to hear your views on after school activities in yr7 and beyond.

Thanks


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 9:54 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2009 9:28 pm
Posts: 2439
My DS had a lift to school for the first term, but now is catching the train. He loves it and has made friends with boys from other classes and years. The train journey is approximately half-an-hour.

When my son does after-school activities, he either catches the later train or goes by bus. I did pick him up once, and then followed the bus home!


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 6:33 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 08, 2010 9:49 pm
Posts: 115
Hi arsen,

My son is in year 8 at WHSB and travels on a private school coach. He usually stays once a week for after school sport and on those occasions he catches the public bus and then train home and we have to pay the extra fare. I think his bus is fairly full, so I don't think they would allow someone to pay for part of a week as they wouldn't then be able to sell that seat for the whole week to someone else. However I know that many of the consortium buses are run by first bus and the set up there may be more flexible?

If the boys are in the school teams for sport then they are expected to stay for after school training. My son doesn't often make the team for anything but trains because he enjoys it, so can stay if he wants to. There are also practices at lunchtime. At WHSB the after school stuff started fairly early on - he came home on day 2 in year 7 and announced he wanted to stay for football trials the following evening!!

Maybe if you want flexibility, then public transport would be your best option if it is convenient. The training for particular sports does tend to stay on a fixed night, but is sometimes cancelled at short notice or matches are played on a different evening.

I'm sure whatever you decide to do, your son will cope with and enjoy the travelling - they all seem to!


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