Impact of CWaC school transport decision

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(Ed:The following is a letter which Duncan Blain a Tarvin resident sent to Tarvinonline on Thursday this week. We think this sums up some of the arguments succinctly and are therefore happy to publish it in full.
This letter was sent to the Public and School Transport Team following CwaC's decision to change Tarvin Primary School's target high school for under 16 transport commencing Sept 2015. )

"Dear Sir/Madam,

Further to your announcement last week I'm writing to request confirmation of the new target high school for students in September 2015. I also formally request a transparent view of the commercial grounds upon which the decision to change the current cost effective transport arrangements that are currently in place between Tarvin & Tarpoley High School.

Despite attending and raising the following points at the Tarvin drop-in session, I now feel it necessary to formally request a written reply as a matter of urgency.

Additional costs and negative impacts will result from last week's decision. Based upon the four new potential "target high schools" for Tarvin being:- Christleton, Bishops Blue Coat, Upton, or Queens Park) the following will occur :-

The well established and efficient transition programme that exists for pupils between these two closely linked schools will have to be reworked, this additional activity will cost time & money for CWaC staff at both Tarvin Primary and at the new target High School.

The tried and tested transition programme (not transport) for students has proven extremely effective both in terms of pupil satisfaction post transition to high school, and, in terms of the percentage of children who actually transfer to Tarporley — circa +95% of all Tarvin students transition to Tarporley High every year.

Geographically, the nearest High School to Tarvin is Christleton, however, it is has been made clear in recent months (as well as in previous years) that Christleton is heavily oversubscribed every year and as a result, CWaC risk having to establish MULTIPLE free transport bus services from Tarvin to:-
a) Transport the small number of students accepted into Christleton
b) Transport some of the delta to Bishops Blue Coats
c) Transport the remainder to Upton, and,
d) Continue to transport for FOUR YEARS, the 2010 to 2014 intake of students into Tarporley High — this final point requiring two coaches for at least two academic years.

The current free bus route between Tarporley and Tarvin doesn't entail any rush hour traffic — changing to either Christleton, Bishops Blue Coat, Upton or Queens Park, will entail significant queuing for all of the new bus routes especially on the morning route, in both directions in/out of Tarvin, using significantly more fuel as well as further impacting to already poor conditions on the A51 route into/out of Chester and be more harmful to the environment.

I understand the current transport contractor utilised is based in Tarvin so minimising fuel usage and the environmental impact. If the bus contractor is changed as part of this new bus service then most buses will likely have to also fight their way through the same rush hour to the new target high schools again using more fuel, be more detrimental to the environment, further impact the A51 rush hour traffic and again cost more money.

In summary the existing transition model from Tarvin to Tarporley and the associated transport works extremely efficiently, minimises the level of environmental impact and definitely minimises cost by limiting the number of buses used to transport children from Tarvin to Tarporley.

I request that the transport department give my points full consideration and respond in writing confirming:-

1) The new target high school for Tarvin Primary students from Sept 2015 so that all impacted can commence planning for the change in transition process immediately.
2) The detailed commercial model CWaC have crafted for the new Tarvin transport service and demonstrate how this can be saving money versus the Tarvin-Tarporpley route when all of the above additional costs are taken into consideration.
3) How CWaC are going to avoid needing FIVE BUSES instead of the current TWO BUSES.

Thank you for taking time to read my points raised above. I'd welcome a very prompt answer to both my questions above so all those impacted (parents, Tarvin Primary School staff & the target High School staff) can start making new plans for the transition of 2015 students immediately.

Kind Regards

Duncan Blain."