Keeping the public informed

It's important to inform the public and the council when transport services for school children and social service passengers do not operate as planned. Find out the best way to communicate this information here.

Whenever transport put in place for school children or social service passengers does not operate as scheduled, it is essential that updates are provided in a timely manner to parents/carers, schools, day centres and ourselves.

Service disruption may come in a variety of forms such as: 

  • Failure to operate at all (as can sometimes be the case in the event of hazardous weather conditions)
  • Delays to service, whatever the cause
  • Unable to operate as scheduled, e.g. unable to serve usual boarding/alighting points due to road closure
 

How to report a service disruption


Contacting us during office hours

Within typical working hours, please contact the Passenger Transport Team.
 

Contacting us outside of office hours

All drivers must carry fully charged mobile phones. In the event that your driver:

(i) is operating the route but is running late
(ii) considers it impossible to operate the route at all or 
(iii) considers it necessary to make changes to the route (e.g. miss out certain boarding points)

they need to telephone the council’s Customer Service Centre on 0345 600 6400 (the caller may be greeted by a member of the Fire & Rescue Service if the call is made very early in the morning).

They should do this when and where it is safe to do so and provide the customer service adviser with the following information:
  • route number and description e.g. route 807 Shilbottle to Alnwick Schools 
  • name of bus company or taxi operator that the driver works for
  • a short summary of the problem e.g. service cancelled due to road conditions; service running 30 minutes late due to poor road surface; route diverted and will miss out the following stops, etc
This will enable the customer service adviser to immediately publish an “alert” on:  
The public are advised to check these sites during periods of bad weather for regular updates to do with the weather as well as announcements of any schools closed or services affected.
 
Local radio stations are also a useful source of information during periods of adverse weather. For example, Metro Radio and Radio Newcastle offer a service for publicising school closure details. Radio Borders provides a similar service for the north of the county.
 
Please note: contact with the customer service advisers in the council’s contact centre should be made after 7am – it is only from 7am each morning that they can accept this information. However, doing so will allow real-time information regarding service disruption to be communicated to all passengers.
 
In cases where you provide transport for just a few passengers, communicating directly with their families during periods of service disruption is appropriate. However, their school/day centre and ourselves should always be kept informed as well.