Scholars Services

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Considering Nexus are always reporting about how loss making services are and the need to make cuts where necessary, how many scholars services are duplicated that you know of and are really necessary and worth the cost 

I was driving through West to East Boldon yesterday and an unknown Stagecoach Scholars service went past first, followed by a JH Coaches 803, a minute or so later Stagecoach 803 came past literally empty.  Quickly followed by Stagecoach 558 to Boldon Asda and Fellgate and again followed by Stagecoach 801 to Boldon Asda

The 803 is a definite duplicate timed at 3 mins apart, however, I believe the 558 was a very similar route and the 801 similar again 

Is there cost savings here, definatley with the 803, but how many more Scholars  services are duplicates that are Nexus Tenders?
(11 Dec 2021, 10:31 am)ifm001 Wrote: Considering Nexus are always reporting about how loss making services are and the need to make cuts where necessary, how many scholars services are duplicated that you know of and are really necessary and worth the cost 

I was driving through West to East Boldon yesterday and an unknown Stagecoach Scholars service went past first, followed by a JH Coaches 803, a minute or so later Stagecoach 803 came past literally empty.  Quickly followed by Stagecoach 558 to Boldon Asda and Fellgate and again followed by Stagecoach 801 to Boldon Asda

The 803 is a definite duplicate timed at 3 mins apart, however, I believe the 558 was a very similar route and the 801 similar again 

Is there cost savings here, definatley with the 803, but how many more Scholars  services are duplicates that are Nexus Tenders?


I think there’s a lot of duplication on scholars services and whilst it takes away some pressure from commercial bus operators and allows their services to be more reliable at school times, I do think there ought to be some more creative thinking around a review of these services.

They aren’t cheap for Nexus to subsidise! Most operators charge between £200 to £300 per day (which in industry terms is actually very cheap), so multiply that by the number of days in the school year and it soon mounts up.


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I fully agree with that Dan. It seems a shame that Nexus are possibly going to cut other vital links when it appears in the example above , there were 5 Scholars services from the same school operating to very similar destinations, 2 to West Boldon, 2 to Boldon Asda and 1 to Boldon asda and then Fellgate on top of this there was the Nexus GCT operated 558 and the Stagecoach commercial 30 operating to Boldon Asda also . If Nexus were to look at those surely the 5 Scholars could be amended to possibly 2 or 3 services still allowing the commercial services to breathe.

I'm not saying that Scholars services aren't vital by no means, and I'm also not saying put all school kids onto commercial services either, but I do think Nexus need to look at where they are wasting money on duplicate services running empty., such as rhe 803
going back to my school days ( along time ago) we were told by our school to use the scholars bus as northumbria had received complaints from passengers about overcrowding on there regular bus due to kids using it. Did help that most of the time from what I can recall it was a single decker. Cant remember who ran the scholars service as i just continued to use the regular service.

Now i'm older i mad the mistake of getting the 315pm bus to where i used to live and the kids all piled on a regent centre. no scholars bus in site. Standing room only. Good job it was a decker.
(11 Dec 2021, 11:31 am)Rob44 Wrote: going back to my school days ( along time ago) we were told by our school to use the scholars bus as northumbria had received complaints from passengers about overcrowding on there regular bus due to kids using it. Did help that most of the time from what I can recall it was a single decker. Cant remember who ran the scholars service as i just continued to use the regular service.

Now i'm older i mad the mistake of getting the 315pm bus to where i used to live and the kids all piled on a regent centre. no scholars bus in site. Standing room only. Good job it was a decker.
Therefore a Nexus funded duplicate of the commercial services to operate for Scholars only is a good idea   but why duplicate Scholars services when fhey are both decker operated and one is running empty. The funds on the duplicate would be more suitable in this instance to assist your area with Scholars using the commercial service.
(11 Dec 2021, 11:50 am)ifm001 Wrote: Therefore a Nexus funded duplicate of the commercial services to operate for Scholars only is a good idea   but why duplicate Scholars services when fhey are both decker operated and one is running empty. The funds on the duplicate would be more suitable in this instance to assist your area with Scholars using the commercial service.

the scholars service the served my school back in the day didn't really follow a commercial route at the time. it was actually an amalgamation of 2 services ran by northumbria at the time. I do agree that a bus running empty costing £300 per day certainly inst a good way to spend money when other things at being cut
(11 Dec 2021, 10:31 am)ifm001 Wrote: Considering Nexus are always reporting about how loss making services are and the need to make cuts where necessary, how many scholars services are duplicated that you know of and are really necessary and worth the cost 

I was driving through West to East Boldon yesterday and an unknown Stagecoach Scholars service went past first, followed by a JH Coaches 803, a minute or so later Stagecoach 803 came past literally empty.  Quickly followed by Stagecoach 558 to Boldon Asda and Fellgate and again followed by Stagecoach 801 to Boldon Asda

The 803 is a definite duplicate timed at 3 mins apart, however, I believe the 558 was a very similar route and the 801 similar again 

Is there cost savings here, definatley with the 803, but how many more Scholars  services are duplicates that are Nexus Tenders?

Back in the day when I was at school, I remember there being duplication of services. Some of it was down to one operator taking on a route commercially at the expense of a funded route. OK vs Wear Buses 462 was one example which ran a couple of minutes apart and were definitely overkill. An ancient OK single decker was closely followed by a Wear Buses Oly, which probably ran on to the 185.
No sign of OK on an afternoon, but there was always the Oly in the car park. 

There has been some consolidation since then on another scholars which served the schools. The 461 was ran by a handful of single deckers and served both schools in the area - running over Fatfield Bridge and through the tunnel at Penshaw. More recently, they're operated by fewer deckers (from observations anyway) and no longer serve Fatfield Bridge or the tunnel at Penshaw.
'Illegitimis non carborundum'
When you don't properly fund scholars services, you end up with the mess that we have with the likes of St Leonards in County Durham.
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(11 Dec 2021, 12:02 pm)Rob44 Wrote: the scholars service the served my school back in the day didn't really follow a commercial route at the time. it was actually an amalgamation of 2 services ran by northumbria at the time. I do agree that a bus running empty costing £300 per day certainly inst a good way to spend money when other things at being cut

For us, the public service was actually faster than the scholars as it didn't go round the estates, one of the many reasons I never used it. 
The only scholars service I didn't mind getting was the late bus back as it was usually empty and I'd have the whole upper deck to myself
Some scholars services are very well used and provide links which otherwise wouldn't exist or would require a change of bus.

When I first started on the school runs, the 454 was my regular run (Easington Lane - St Roberts). I took in excess of £90 per day just on the school run but that was a full bus (90 kids).

St Roberts have the 458 which is (or at least was) tripled. 2 deckers used to leave with all the buses at school kicking out time then a 3rd bus (usually single deck) leaves shortly after. Again, thus journey wouldn't be available on a service bus (without changes) and also you wouldn't really want all those kids on a service bus.

Kids regularly vandalised the vehicles and acted in an antisocial manner - again what impression would a passenger on a service bus make of this?

Now I driver the 4274 Coxhoe to Belmont. There are no tickets on here and its a closed door service in the sense that it's only open to kids from the school with the appropriate pass (either bus A or B). This differs from the Nexus runs which were (may have changed due to Covid) open to the public and adult fares were available. Kids on the Belmont run are better behaved than St Roberts but 7157 has been internally vandalised so again would pitting these kids on a service bus leave a good impression on other passengers?

I think school buses have there place and most are quite well used (more than some works services I've driven - 968 springs to mind). When I went to school there was a school bus (didn't go where I lived) but it was taken off due to vandalism (running theme here) and we used service buses. Buses were packed and drove past other waiting passengers further along the route.
(12 Dec 2021, 12:00 pm)morritt89 Wrote: Some scholars services are very well used and provide links which otherwise wouldn't exist or would require a change of bus.

When I first started on the school runs, the 454 was my regular run (Easington Lane - St Roberts). I took in excess of £90 per day just  on the school run but that was a full bus (90 kids).

St Roberts have the 458 which is (or at least was) tripled. 2 deckers used to leave with all the buses at school kicking out time then a 3rd bus (usually single deck) leaves shortly after. Again, thus journey wouldn't be available on a service bus (without changes) and also you wouldn't really want all those kids on a service bus.
 

Kids regularly vandalised the vehicles and acted in an antisocial manner - again what impression would a passenger on a service bus make of this?

Now I driver the 4274 Coxhoe to Belmont. There are no tickets on here and its a closed door service in the sense that it's only open to kids from the school with the appropriate pass (either bus A or B). This differs from the Nexus runs which were (may have changed due to Covid) open to the public and adult fares were available. Kids on the Belmont run are better behaved than St Roberts but 7157 has been internally vandalised so again would pitting these kids on a service bus leave a good impression on other passengers?

I think school buses have there place and most are quite well used (more than some works services I've driven - 968 springs to mind). When I went to school there was a school bus (didn't go where I lived) but it was taken off due to vandalism (running theme here) and we used service buses. Buses were packed and drove past other waiting passengers further along the route.

Interesting to see how it has evolved (see my comments yesterday on Biddick and the 461).
Of course, back in the day - there was the 194 which would have spread the load and reduced the need for all those deckers going as far as Easington Lane.

The 461 complemented the 194 and ran the exact same route. Handy for Phili ops too. 
How that both Phili and the 194 have ceased to exist, is this strain on Nexus too much? Particularly if you were taking £90 and operators were charging not much more than that for a week (see Dan's comments).
'Illegitimis non carborundum'