7 January 2019

Dear Parents and Carers,


As many of you will be aware, Arriva bus drivers are due to take industrial action beginning on Sunday 6th January 2019 for a 6 day period. The majority of our students that access free home to school transport travel do so via Lee’s Coaches and will not be affected by the action. The students travelling on the 853 Arriva service from Bowburn and Shincliffe will still be able to do so, as the Local Authority have arranged a ‘skeleton service’ guaranteeing that those students will still be able to travel to school. The Local Authority provided the following advice to schools on Monday 7th January 2019:  

An industrial dispute means that Arriva services are likely to be severely affected by a strike, in the week from Sunday 6th January 2019. This strike action is completely beyond the council’s control and as well as some members of staff potentially being affected who use this service, pupils’ travel to and from school will also be affected. Only very limited services are likely to operate. Unfortunately this means that other than pupils travelling on the school special service 853 Bowburn – Durham Johnston School and the school special service 865 Tudhoe – St John’s School, parents will need to consider alternative ways for their son/daughter to travel to and from school. For those pupils who attend your school and who are entitled to free home to school transport, depending on their journey, existing services run by another operator may provide an alternative way to travel. Details of bus routes and timetables can be found on line at www.durham.gov.uk/busmap or parents can use the journey planner linked to that page. The council will repay the cost of bus fares that parents may have to pay. If there is no alternative bus service available and parents have to get their child to and from your school by car, they can reclaim the cost of one journey each way per day at our standard rate of 46.9 pence per mile. 

There may also be a number of pupils travelling to and from your school using Arriva services who are not entitled to free home to school transport. Parents of these pupils will not be reimbursed by the council for any cost incurred in getting their child to and from school. 

Adrian J White, Head of Transport and Contract Services & Julien Kramer, Head of Education and Skills