Emergency help for school transport
Richard Parr Taxi operators from 45 miles away were drafted in to overcome school transport problems created after licence plates were suddenly withdrawn from a Fakenham firm following serious safety concerns over insurance of vehicles.
Taxi operators from 45 miles away were drafted in to overcome school transport problems created after licence plates were suddenly withdrawn from a Fakenham firm following serious safety concerns over insurance of vehicles.
And school transport officials have praised the help given by parents in rural parts of a wide area of Norfolk who stepped in to ensure the effected pupils were ale to get to and from school.
Norfolk county council was forced to make emergency arrangements to ensure that 91 pupils in communities in the Fakenham and Wells area were able to get home safely on Thursday after police and licensing staff withdrew licences from the Fakenham-based Courtesy Cabs.
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As previously reported in the EDP, the Bridge Street firm ceased operating after licence plates were removed from more than 20 vehicles in the Courtesy fleet.
One of its contracts was to provide school transport for pupils living in isolated areas in north Norfolk.
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Today most pupils got to school because of help from parents and temporary transport arrangements which will continue for the rest of this week. It is hoped that the half-term break will give county council officials time to put more permanent arrangements in place.
The High schools affected were Fakenham and 6th Form College, Reepham , Litcham, Alderman Peel and Norwich City College. Primary schools affected were Stibbard, Blakeney and Glaven, Lyng, Blenheim Park, Langham and Harpley.
The 24 contracts with Courtesy Cabs have now been terminated and they will be re-let to other operators.
This afternoon a county council spokesman said that temporary contractors were being used and some of them were as far away from the Fakenham area as Great Yarmouth, a distance of about 45 miles.
Police and North Norfolk District Council licensing staff were forced to withdraw the taxis plates following “significant concerns” about use of uninsured vehicles and public safety issues.
“We really appreciate the help given by parents and the temporary operators because the safety issues concern about the Courtesy cabs fleet came like a bolt out of the blue for everyone. Everyone had to work together to try and overcome the problems to ensure that pupils got home from school and were able to get to school on Friday,” said the county council spokesman.
There is currently a notice on the door of the Courtesy Cabs office from bailiffs, acting on behalf of the property's owners, the Norwich-based Lomax Homes company, stating that possession had been taken of the property and that the former occupiers (Courtesy Cabs) had 14 days in which to remove their goods, chattels and furniture from the office.