AND DISTRICT BUS ASSOCIATION
REPORT TO THE 2020 AGM
REPORT TO THE 2020 AGM
would like to begin by saying
a big thank you to both Alex Flegmann and Berni Stringer for
all their hard work over the last year. Owing to unexpected
circumstances caused by the Corona Pandemic, committee
members have been called upon to give additionally of their
time. Juggling full time work, parenting and running the ‘bus’
is a significant commitment. While most parents are mindful
of this undertaking, there are a small minority who make
unreasonable demands and cause disproportionate
unpleasantness. May I remind everyone that all
correspondence and dealing with committee members should be
done in a respectful manner and with appropriate courtesy.
All three of us have children in Lower Sixth, so if you
would like to join the committee please do let us know. As
you all know, the ‘bus’ is run by parents and for this
to continue we need somebodies to take it over.
We started last academic year with
the bus running rather late most mornings. In the main,
roadworks on route and increased Bedford traffic was the
cause. To compensate, and ensure children were arriving at
their schools on time, the committee took the decision to
cut the stops at Shillington and Meppershall. While there
was an unwanted knock-on for certain families, the
improvement was immediately evident.
Unsurprisingly, Lockdown became the news that marked 2020
as unprecedented. With Covid regulations being implemented
from government, organisations were called upon to interpret
and implement appropriate restrictions. Advice was often
generic, ambiguous and contradictory. It became incredibly
difficult to plan a way forward. Landmark, in particular,
found themselves in an impossible situation. The company was
not in a position to furlough its staff as government
regulation insisted they keep their buses operational. This
despite the reduced need for children to use the service.
Drivers were kept on in the event the government needed the
busses to operate. To complicate matters, the committee was
not in a position to plan ahead, without clarity from
schools as to their intentions to remain closed, or re-open.
Following consultation with parents,
we agreed to keep Landmark on a
retainer while the service was suspended. The consultation
revealed a wide variety of opinions about this and the level
of retainer we ended up paying corresponded to the median
amount suggested by parents.
We are grateful to Landmark, for
their understanding and agreement. We have worked hard to
ensure good relationships with Landmark, particularly as we
look towards renegotiating a contract for 2021-2022. Of
course, as in the past, the contract will be put out to
At present the bus is not full to
capacity. This has come in handy and has allowed us to
implement a degree of ‘social distancing’. Following the
publication of the Covid Health & Safety rules I am
pleased to report that children are now adhering to wearing
a mask and taking the rules seriously. It has certainly
helped appointing a monitor, who has ‘eyes on the ground’.
We continue to be grateful to parents who ensure their
children are abiding the rules.
With our attention now focused on
securing a reliable and affordable new provider for 2021-2022,
we wish to invite anyone who is interested in joining the
committee to make themselves known as soon as possible. The
benefit of this bus service I’m sure is appreciated by
every family who uses it. Committee members come and go as
their children no longer require the bus. This is again the
case and without replacing committee members the future of
this service is in jeopardy.
In closing, having endured Brexit
and now Covid, I speak on behalf of everyone I’m sure as I
say we look forward to an uneventful next twelve months.