Chaos as college coach company collapses

Thursday 28th February 2019 1:00 pm
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One of the replacement buses ()

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MORE than 700 students of Bohunt School, Liphook,were impacted when Midhurst-based Richardson Travel closed down suddenly after going into administration.

The coach company has provided school transport and bus services locally for the last 30 years.

Bohunt alerted parents on Tuesday last week - during half term - to the “sudden and unexpected” news.

The Liphook secondary school has been particularly hard-hit because Richardson's supplied eight buses to transport its students.

The school was left trying to find alternative transport for 400 Hampshire students and 304 living outside the county.

Hammer parent Ivor Stockdale was horrified to hear of Richardson's collapse last week. He told the Herald: “My 16 year old son is one of the affected pupils who live ‘out of area’ over the border in Haslemere. He’s in year 11 so has GCSE mocks next week. As working parents, it’s appalling to be left in this position, along with so many others.

“We feel let down by the school, who should have done their due diligence on this company who they appointed to run these services. The school’s leadership team have aggressively expanded the intake at the school over the last decade, providing subsidised transport to children from out of area villages to further that aim and make it an attractive option to working parents.

“They have a responsibility to find alternate transport options.”

Working with Hampshire and West Sussex county councils to ensure students got to school on Monday, Bohunt managed to draft in a selection of six coaches, supplied by Stagecoach, Portsmouth Coaches, D&P Coaches and Farnham Coaches.

A school spokesperson said: “We have been working hard to find replacement bus services for all our students and are happy to say we have done so for 95 per cent of them, including those out of catchment. As soon as we were informed about the situation, staff worked tirelessly to ascertain the full picture, inform families and all other necessary parties and find replacement bus services.

“We are working with affected parents to ascertain the number of seats required on each route so we can provide firm prices for services, with the possibility of extra stops and are very optimistic about being able to provide service to all affected students long-term.

“Whilst it is ultimately a parental responsibility and Bohunt receives no extra funding for transport, we know how distressing this is for families who may have lost money.”

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