Dorset CC investigates Damory school services

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Dorset County Council (DCC) is launching an internal investigation after reports of its school bus services failing to pick up some children and leaving them stranded at bus stops.

The council recently appointed bus operator Damory, part of Go- Ahead, for school services but has said the situation is “unacceptable”.

According to the BBC, a spokesman said there had been a number of instances where children were not collected and journeys by Damory ran late or not at all. The company is now working with the council to rectify the problems.

DCC told the BBC it used its own fleet and other contractors to cover five journeys in the past week. Children’s services councillor Toni Coombs said: “This is a new contract and we would always expect some teething problems as it beds in.

“However, the scale of these problems is unprecedented, and we appreciate the effect is significant and a major concern to parents.

“Damory has been open in explaining the issues facing them in the implementation of this substantial new contract, and the number of the problems that have occurred.

“Following detailed discussions, our managers have been assured Damory has suitable plans in place to correct the problems and improve performance.

“We are also launching an internal investigation to probe into the issues we’ve had with the transition into this new contract.”

Since the introduction of the new service, ticket prices have risen from £250 to £400 and the number of spaces has been cut from 2,000 to 1,000.