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Wrexham yellow school bus scheme is first for Wales " and largest for First so far
Monday 22 April 2002
The first commercial US yellow school bus scheme for Wales has been announced by UK transport operator First.
Ten of the distinctive US-built Blue Bird buses will enter service in Wrexham on 10 June on a network of schools services operated under contract to Wrexham County Borough Council. The buses will serve over 1,000 students attending seven secondary schools, one primary school and a college of further education. The buses will be operated from an outstation in Wrexham.
This will be the largest commercial yellow school bus scheme yet to be introduced by First and follows closely on the heels of the introduction in February of the two-bus Hebden Bridge scheme, and the four-bus Runnymede scheme.
Commenting on the new scheme, Moir Lockhead, First Chief Executive said: "I am pleased that Wrexham County Borough Council has shown its commitment to Best Value by recognising the clearly identifiable benefits to home-to-school transport that our yellow school bus scheme can bring. This scheme is not only the first commercial yellow school bus service to be introduced in Wales, but it is also our largest scheme to date. I look forward to being able to announce further schemes in the months to come.'
The Leader of Wrexham County Borough Council, Shan Wilkinson, said: "This is a first for Wrexham and a first for Wales. It is a huge step forward in providing new and improved home to school transport. Wrexham is leading the way in Wales regarding the safety of our children and this follows initiatives to ensure that parents and pupils are aware of safety issues."
The Chief Transportation and Engineering Officer, Rob Wilkinson said: "The outcome of the Best Value process meant that we had to look at providing a better service to our school children. This means a change from the traditional way of taking children to school and staff have worked hard to ensure that the service is fast becoming what parents, schools and pupils want."
Facts about the Yellow School Bus scheme in Wrexham
The buses will serve Yale College of Further Education, Marchwiel County Primary, and the following seven secondary schools: Ysgol Bryn Offa, Bryn Alyn, The Groves, Darland School, Ysgol Castell Alun, the Maelor School, and Ysgol Morgan Llwyd.
Bus and train operator First will be operating the buses under contract from Wrexham County Borough Council.
The Wrexham scheme is the largest commercial yellow school bus service to be operated in the UK and the first to be operated in Wales. It is the third such scheme to be introduced in the UK by First.
The first scheme began on 18 February and serves seven junior, primary and infants schools in the Hebden Bridge area of West Yorkshire. The second scheme was introduced in Runnymede in Surrey on 25 February 2002 serving two secondary schools with four yellow school buses.
Each bus will be in telephone contact with the Yellow Bus control room situated at Firsts depot in Wrexham.
The bus driver will have a list of all the students who should be travelling on the bus. Parents are able to telephone the control room to advise if their child will not be travelling on the bus due to sickness or holiday. This will help the driver to know who to expect at each stop.
The bus driver is responsible for behaviour on board. The Yellow Bus concept means that the school day begins from the moment the student boards the bus, and ends when the student leaves the bus upon arrival home.
The drivers will receive a concentrated period of specially tailored training which included customer care, safety, security and child behavioural issues.
During the school day the yellow buses may be used for school recreational and sports trips.
The Yellow School Bus service in Wrexham is about more than just painting a bus yellow. It is about child safety, it is about developing a partnership between the students, parents, the bus driver, the local authority and the bus operator. It is all about encouraging greater use of school transport, and reducing private car journeys on the school run. Its all about challenging our existing views on home to school transport.