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Solihull schoolchildren's 'Green Bus' routes face an uncertain future

Bus services which take Solihull schoolchildren to grammar schools around the region face an uncertain future if a cap on the amount of public money they receive remains in place, a court has heard

King Edward VI Camp Hill Schools
King Edward VI Camp Hill Schools

Bus services which take Solihull schoolchildren to grammar schools around the region face an uncertain future if a cap on the amount of public money they receive remains in place, a court has heard.

The Green Transport Company Ltd says it faces massive losses if it is unable to recover the amount it really costs to provide concessionary fares to secondary school children.

Nine of the firm’s 45 bus routes start in Solihull, providing pupils with ‘almost door-to-door’ transport - although its buses can also be used by adult passengers.

But lawyers for the company this week said the business stands to make a £250,000 annual loss, and would be unable to maintain anything like its current range of services in the medium to long-term, if a cap on the amount it can get back from the public purse is not lifted.

The company has gone to the High Court, in London, in a bid to force Centro - the organisation responsible for public transport in the West Midlands - to remove the cap it set in May last year, of £320 per pupil per year.

Centro is contesting the company’s judicial review challenge and argues it cannot be expected to subsidise the company’s current level of service - which it argues is ‘not viable’.

The buses, which serve communities including Castle Bromwich, Dickens Heath, Dorridge, Knowle, Hockley Heath and Hampton-in-Arden, take children to schools such as the King Edward VI Camp Hill and Five Ways.

 

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