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#276652 - 17th Dec 2008 11:22pm CHILD SAFETY FEARS
_jase_
Unregistered


A BUS driver claims he’s been ordered to refuse rides to Wirral schoolchildren who have lost their fare home - or risk facing the sack.

He fears the result of measures being enforced on independent bus companies by regulators Merseytravel could ultimately put kids’ lives at risk - and leave drivers to blame.

Merseytravel insist there has been “no policy change”.

But drivers have been told in a letter seen by the Globe they face £100 fines or even being fired if inspectors catch them carrying children with no fare.

The Globe was contacted by the driver, who works for a Birkenhead-based bus company, after he was issued with a company letter that referred to Merseytravel’s “revenue protection” report stating that drivers caught carrying passengers without tickets would be subject to formal disciplinary action.

Issued in September, the letter adds that because of an alleged change in Merseytravel policy schoolchildren would “not be allowed on board without the correct fare”.

The driver, who has asked to remain anonymous, said: “It’s always been left up to the bus drivers’ discretion to bail out children who have got no fare to get home from school.

“Merseytravel has now decided that no child or adult will be allowed on the bus without a valid ticket and this is going to mean one of three things.

“Either drivers phone up the parents and ask them to pay at the bus stop and we’ll issue a ticket. Or the bus driver will have to pay for the ticket or, thirdly, the bus driver leaves that child.

“But schoolchildren are notorious for losing money. Our first priority surely has to be getting them home safe, and worrying about the money afterwards?”

A spokesman for Merseytravel said: “It has never been the policy of Merseytravel to leave children without the correct fare stranded.

“There has been no change in policy. We do, however, encourage schools to deal with this problem through the relevant school travel plans.

“One suggestion is that schools could establish a small cash float to provide emergency loans to children.

“Similarly promoting the use of pre-paid tickets would also assist with this problem.

“On the question of drivers not issuing a valid ticket, disciplinary is a matter for the bus operator. We report any incidents discovered by our revenue protection team to the operator.”

The independent bus company, however, told the Globe that they are bound by Merseytravel policy not to let passengers on without paying the fare - and risk fines of £100 and losing their contract if caught by inspectors.

The worried driver added: “You can just imagine if you leave a child at Arrowe Park who has to get to West Kirby, it could turn a 15-minute bus journey into a two-hour hike, through some unlit parts. Schoolkids are notorious for losing money.

“Bus drivers are going to be made to look like the bad people in this. But we’re not.

"The reason why no-one has said anything about this is that employees are frightened of Merseytravel and fearful of being hounded out of their jobs if they do so. If we are found letting kids on the bus without them paying, we could face the sack. What do we do?

"Do we allow kids on the bus and say get your parents to pay when you get to the stop. You can’t, because there’s no guarantee they will meet us there.

"On the other hand, do you let kids walk home long distances in the dark.”


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#276655 - 17th Dec 2008 11:27pm Re: CHILD SAFETY FEARS [Re: ]
Mondeo_Scott Offline
Forum Master

Registered: 14th Aug 2006
Posts: 2875
Loc: Wirral
thats just wrong surly if the driver has kids him self he would understand nono

Obviously these low minded fooookwits dont ave children them self or they would appreciate wot the drivers do for them to get home safely.




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#276659 - 17th Dec 2008 11:30pm Re: CHILD SAFETY FEARS [Re: Mondeo_Scott]
Sanchez Offline

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Registered: 17th Dec 2003
Posts: 8019
Loc: my house
nah, its ok, you dont loose you school bus fair, you've either spent it in the canteen, or had it bullied from you..........They are just tryin it on, I know this cause i use to always spend my bus money then try and bunk on later, some times it was a long walk home.
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#276660 - 17th Dec 2008 11:32pm Re: CHILD SAFETY FEARS [Re: Sanchez]
Mondeo_Scott Offline
Forum Master

Registered: 14th Aug 2006
Posts: 2875
Loc: Wirral
take you went to woooody high the andy cos bein bullied or spendin ya bus fair was a big thing in that schoool

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#276661 - 17th Dec 2008 11:32pm Re: CHILD SAFETY FEARS [Re: Mondeo_Scott]
_jase_
Unregistered


its out of order giving them a £100 fine or even being fired. no


Edited by _jase_ (17th Dec 2008 11:32pm)

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#276664 - 17th Dec 2008 11:32pm Re: CHILD SAFETY FEARS [Re: ]
Mondeo_Scott Offline
Forum Master

Registered: 14th Aug 2006
Posts: 2875
Loc: Wirral
Originally Posted By: _jase_
its out of order giving them a £100 fines or even being fired. no


very true indeed for wot makin sure some child gets home safe sorry i dnt agree with it at all somad

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#276666 - 17th Dec 2008 11:34pm Re: CHILD SAFETY FEARS [Re: Mondeo_Scott]
_jase_
Unregistered


HEAR, HEAR grin

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#276712 - 18th Dec 2008 1:31am Re: CHILD SAFETY FEARS [Re: ]
MGCraig Offline
AlfaHolic
Forum Veteran

Registered: 16th Apr 2006
Posts: 5488
Loc: Spital
At Wirral, they organised the different bus routes home, and made the kid que up to wait for them. They checked they had the fare to start with, and if not, the school loaned the fare, and were paid back at the end of the week. Its a simple idea, and it works very well.
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#276758 - 18th Dec 2008 10:43am Re: CHILD SAFETY FEARS [Re: MGCraig]
Sanchez Offline

Wiki Veteran

Registered: 17th Dec 2003
Posts: 8019
Loc: my house
would it be too hard for the schools to organise a system were parents pay them what ever the bus fair is at the start of the week, weather it be direct debit etc, then a list is drawn up of who has been paid in or not and are then allowed on the bus.

Its very strange to me, scholl's number one priority when kids are in school is their safty, but on to and from they couldn't give two hoots.
_________________________
Uncertainty or not knowing causes depression, Im happy because I know I'm going to die one day!

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#277048 - 19th Dec 2008 9:57pm Re: CHILD SAFETY FEARS [Re: Sanchez]
Dave100e Offline

Veteran

Registered: 14th Jul 2008
Posts: 690
Loc: Greasby
I happen to work for a 'large' company operating on the Wirral and i know for a fact they now have a camera connected into the ticket machine and GPS which records EXACTLY how many people are on said vehicle at any one time, how much theyve paid and their intended destination. They say its to reduce whiplash claims after accidents as theyd often get 70 claims when there was only 40 tickets issued, but i know better. Theres no way a driver could argue his case.
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#277423 - 22nd Dec 2008 11:26am Re: CHILD SAFETY FEARS [Re: Dave100e]
AR_One Offline
Smartchild

Registered: 14th Nov 2007
Posts: 435
Loc: Wirral
"would it be too hard for the schools to organise a system were parents pay them what ever the bus fair is at the start of the week, weather it be direct debit etc, then a list is drawn up of who has been paid in or not and are then allowed on the bus."

Isn't that called a bus-pass or season ticket?

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