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As a College, we share your frustrations regarding the decision by Stagecoach to stop the Number 21B Service from Westward Ho! to Bideford College commencing January 3rd 2017. We were also extremely dismayed about the lack of formal timely communication from them regarding this, as the first communication we had about this decision was on the 28th November 2016 with the reason for this being that the bus was not financially viable. As I explained in my previous letter, we attempted to change this decision via further communications, but sadly were unsuccessful.
Since then, a parent has successfully managed to contact Stagecoach to ascertain further details as to why the service was withdrawn stating that the bus was running at a loss of £100 everyday, due to the fact that the bus was full of children paying half, not full fares. This had a significant impact on the running costs and ultimately the decision to cancel the service.
As a result of further discussion, Stagecoach have communicated to the parent that they may consider reinstating the service if enough parents would support an increase to the fares for the journey to Bideford College. The increase in a return fare would be approximately £1.20 meaning a student who would normally pay £1.40 for a return ticket would be expected to pay £2.60 for the same journey.
As a College, we fully support the suggestion and are happy to act as a conduit between parents and Stagecoach to identify whether this would be a viable option. Please could I ask you to fill in the slip below and return to the College Reception by Monday 16th January 2017, if you would be prepared or not to pay the additional cost required for Stagecoach to reinstate the 21B Bus to Bideford College. This information will then be collated and passed on to Stagecoach for them to make an informed decision. Please note – names of students will not be passed on to Stagecoach – this merely gives us the opportunity to make sure that we have heard from all involved parties.
Please click on the link below to view the full letter and reply slip.