FOI Request School Buses

Request 101001431828

1) How many school buses does your local authority rely on in an average school day to take pupils to school?
2) What checks do you have in place, over and above getting the buses MOTs, to ensure school buses are of a high standard?
3) Does the council have a vehicle/public transport inspector or someone who carries out checks on school buses?
4) If so, how regularly do they carry out checks on school buses?
5) If so, how regularly do they carry out checks on school bus drivers?
6) If so, how do you deal with any non-compliance that is revealed through these checks?
7) In how many instances have non-compliance issues been flagged up during these checks in the following time periods:
7 i – 2013?
7 ii – 2014?
7 iii - 2015?
7 iv - 2016?
8) What checks are in place to vet transport companies before they are awarded contracts for school transport?
9) What checks are in place to vet drivers before they drive school buses?
10) How many school bus seats do you provide? How many of these seats have a seat belt?
11) If seatbelts are provided, do you have a policy on wearing seatbelts? Is this enforced? If so, how?

Response 13-03-2017

1. 117

2. Council owned and operated buses are inspected by qualified DVSA Inspectors on a 13 week schedule for Minibuses and 8 weeks for large buses.  All vehicles and drivers operating contracts must comply with the provisions of the Road Traffic Acts, The Public Passenger Vehicles Act 1981, The Civic Government (Scotland)Act 1982, The Transport Act 1985 and all regulations made under these Acts.

3. We employ a Surveyor who carries out random checks on school transport. He was trained as a Qualified Vehicle Examiner.

4. Council owned and operated buses are inspected by qualified DVSA Inspectors on a 13 week schedule for Minibuses and 8 weeks for large buses.

5. These are done on a Random Basis by our Surveyor. 

6. The Operators must submit any vehicle for examination by an authorised officer or agent of the Council when requested to do so. We would arrange for it to be examined by a Council Vehicle Examiner.  There is a penalty point system in place and a contract can be terminated for inadequate vehicle maintenance.

7i. None.

7ii. None.

7iii. None.

7iv. None.

8. The processes employed by Moray Council for procurement and contract award follows national and EU legislation and as such any potential or successful tenderer must comply with the quality assessment held in the European Single Procurement Document (ESPD) as well as any other standards identified by the Council as pertinent to the individual contract in question.  The ESPD include the national mandatory exclusion statements for legal, tax and criminal activity.  The additional issues added by the Council are varied and dependent on the nature of the contract, for a school transport contract these would include but not be limited to passenger safety, vehicle omissions, driver qualifications, etc.  A contract cannot be awarded until the Council is satisfied that the successful company meets the criteria set in the tender and can sustain the contract throughout the period of requirement.

9. All School Transport drivers are vetted through Disclosure Scotland.  A badge with the photograph of the driver is issued by the PTU and must be carried at all times when driving school transport.  These are checked by our Surveyor during his Random checks of school vehicles.

10. 2659 pupils travel on School Transport.  All must have seatbelts. Moray Council was the first local authority in Scotland to specify seatbelts on all vehicles used on dedicated school contracts. This came into effect in August 2002. Parents sign a Parental Charter for receipt of school transport which includes a stipulation that seatbelts must be worn. Pupils failing to comply with this requirement can have their home to school transport entitlement withdrawn, placing the transport responsibility of the parents

11. Policy is that all pupils must wear a seatbelt. Drivers should make official announcements reminding pupils to wear the seatbelt when travelling to and from school. Schools are also encouraged to include this on Induction Days.

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