School bus costs go up for new services

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A SCHOOL and a bus firm have defended a decision to increase the cost of a bus pass.

Oaklands Catholic School in Waterlooville is now charging £700 a year for a bus pass – up from £200 in previous years.

It comes after First Bus withdrew the 651 and 652 services from Fareham to the school as they weren’t making enough money. Now, the school has worked with First to provide a private bus service – which costs more.

A spokeswoman for First Bus said: ‘The rate charged by First to the school for this contract reflects the cost of operating the service. The amount that students are charged for travel is set by the school.’

In a statement the school said: ‘The school feels that it has acted in the best interests of families who choose to send their children to Oaklands Catholic School.

‘The cost of travel for the next academic year was based on the charges made by First and the school cannot be held responsible for any increases in costs that First impose.

‘The school can confirm that any shortfall in the cost of the service is being met by the school.’

The school said a small number of complaints have been received by parents.