Troubled bus company confirms Sheffield school service is to be withdrawn TOMORROW

Brightbus who operate the 785 bus service, which runs from Bents Green to Notre Dame Catholic High School in Fulwood Road, Endcliffe, told The Starservice will be withdrawn at the end of tomorrow 'due to the loss of a driver'.
Brightbus who operate the 785 bus service, which runs from Bents Green to Notre Dame Catholic High School in Fulwood Road, Endcliffe, told The Starservice will be withdrawn at the end of tomorrow 'due to the loss of a driver'.
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A bus service which transports children to a Sheffield secondary school will run for the last time tomorrow, it was confirmed today.

Brightbus who operate the 785 bus service, which runs from Bents Green to Notre Dame Catholic High School in Fulwood Road, Endcliffe, told The Star service will be withdrawn at the end of tomorrow 'due to the loss of a driver'.

The school was informed of the withdrawal of the service on Tuesday, and an announcement was made to parents and pupils the following day.

They say they are working with the South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive and Sheffield Council to find a solution.

A spokesman for the SYPTE said: “Since BrightBus informed SYPTE and the school of their early withdrawal of the 785 AM and one of the two 786 PM journeys, we have worked with the company to minimise the impact this will have on pupils.

"Following half-term, BrightBus has agreed to operate a revised 785AM bus to a similar route, and to provide a larger vehicle on the remaining 786 PM service, to partially replace lost capacity.

“SYPTE continues to co-ordinate significant work behind the scenes, with local authorities and other commercial bus companies, to put alternative services in place following BrightBus’ announced closure. We have already seen interest from a number of bus companies across South Yorkshire and beyond, and we are committed to keeping schools, parents and pupils informed as these plans develop.

Regular updates will be published at travelsouthyorkshire.com/brightbus”

Brightbus serves around 15,000 school children in the South Yorkshire area, and last month director Mick Strafford announced that Brightbus would close at the end of the academic year due to his 'ill health'.

Mr Strafford says that following the announcement a number of drivers have left the company - despite many promising to stay on until its closure - and cites this as the reason he was unable to give more notice on the withdrawal of the 785 service.

"The 785 service only serves around 15 children, and we have every driver, including myself, out on the roads so when we lost a driver I had no option but to withdraw the service - and that was the one with the smallest number of passengers," said Mr Strafford.

He added: "I'm doing my level best to maintain the best service I can, but if drivers want to leave for a new job, unfortunately there's nothing I can do about that.

"One driver told me on Wednesday that he would stay until the end and then said that his last day would be Friday.

"I've given the school and the SYPTE as much notice as I possibly can."

Mr Strafford also said he could not rule out further services being axed before the end of the academic year in July, should the ongoing staffing issues continue.

Brightbus which also goes under the name MAS Special Engineering Ltd, was formed in 1998 and operates out of a depot in North Anston.

Their fleet of about 60 brightly green-coloured buses - some of which have been imported from Hong Kong - will be well known to many. The buses served more than 30 schools across the area.