Replacement school transport arranged

Parents at ten schools in Somerset have been informed of new arrangements after Somerset County Council ended a school transport contract today.

Alternative transport arrangements have been put in place to transport 437 students to and from the schools from tomorrow morning. This afternoon the council terminated its contract with Avalon Coaches due to performance concerns.

New contractors will start to collect school children attending a number of schools in the Mendip and Sedgemoor areas from tomorrow morning, replacing Avalon Coaches which was contracted to deliver these services.

Excluding a change in supplier, there will be no other changes to the scheduled routes or times of the school transport service. All affected schools will be made aware of the changes in supplier this afternoon and parents/guardians will all receive a text message from Transporting Somerset if they have signed up to this service.

Somerset County Council’s Cabinet Member for Children’s Services Councillor Frances Nicholson said: “It is unfortunate that we have had to take this step but getting children to and from school is a big responsibility and we have to get it right.

“There are over 650 vehicles taking over 9,000 students to and from schools across Somerset every day and it is paramount our transport suppliers meet our high standards in ensuring these services run smoothly, safely and efficiently.

“Avalon Coaches have failed to meet our standards recently. Issues include school transport failing to arrive at all and significant delays to journey times. Somerset County Council has therefore instructed new suppliers to run Avalon’s former transport services from tomorrow morning.”

For any further information or advice, please contact Somerset Direct on 0300 123 2224.

  • Once a set number of failings occur within a set time frame, Somerset County Council can terminate a contract
  • A number of suppliers will be covering the service.
  • The affected schools are Wells Blue, St Dunstan’s, Crispins, Chilton Trinity and Kings of Wessex (secondary schools); Hugh Sexey’s Middle School (Middle school) and Coxley, Ashcott, Catcott and Wedmore First School (Primary Schools)