One company told the Mirror that filling a tank has gone from £1,000 to £1,469 in just one month and Rishi Sunak’s 5p-litre cut in the fuel tax makes little difference
(Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Children may not be able to get to class as school bus companies are hit by rising fuel prices.
Businesses are struggling to honor contracts and may have to raise prices — or operate at a loss.
The traffic crisis is another blow to children who have already lost countless days of school due to the pandemic.
At Hammonds Coaches in Nottingham, which operates 10 buses, filling a tank has gone from £1,000 to £1,469 in just one month.
Managing director Nick Hammond said: “We felt like we were turning a corner after Covid. This is a new blow.
“A lot of commissioned work is for schools that we’re tied to for three, four or five years.
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“There is very little wiggle room. It makes things very tight.
“We’re running these contracts at a loss right now because prices were set before fuel went up.”
Nottinghamshire Council stepped in and paid more to keep their deal with Hammonds up.
But other bus companies may have to foot the bill themselves — or cancel their school contracts.
Moran Milligan, of Milligans Coach Travel in Mauchline, Ayrshire, said they were bound by school contracts for five years.
She said: “We’re worse off because we have to subsidize these school contracts.
“We’re stuck in them, so there’s nothing we can do.”
She added that the Chancellor’s 5p fuel tax cut makes little difference and they need to make school contracts more expensive.
Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said: “It is important that students can get to and from school.”
Shadow Schools Secretary Stephen Morgan said the Tories had to “live up to the Labor Party’s ambition for children’s future and put in place a proper recovery plan”.
He said: “Children have already lost to the messy mismanagement of learning in the pandemic and face further challenges due to the Conservatives’ cost-of-living crisis.
“The Chancellor has left businesses and families to stand by and stand by while children’s learning is once again at risk of being disrupted.”
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/children-might-not-able-school-26565276 Children may not be able to get to school as rising fuel prices hit bus companies