Agenda item

Update from the Passenger Transport Team

Jason Salter (Head of Service – Passenger Transport) will give an update on behalf of the Passenger Transport Team at the meeting.


Jason Salter (Head of Service – Passenger Transport) was unable to attend the meeting but had prepared an update to be share at the meeting and this is detailed below:


The number of pupils who are not receiving home to school transport who are entitled is now zero, in the context of supply.  This doesn’t however mean that the supply issue has been resolved, as taxis from out of county are being used more prevalently, or we are using parents in an increased capacity.  The number of licensed taxi drivers remains at a constant, which is nowhere near where it needs to be to manage the growth in this area.


Due to the taxi market not growing in sufficient capacity, the decision has been made by the Passenger Transport Unit to lease vehicles and employ drivers directly in order to meet the growth.  As at 6 March 2023, there are currently nine vehicles deployed on home to school transport either owned or leased by Wiltshire Council.  Eight of those have been previously deployed through Larkrise school for many years, with one additional vehicle now being used into Silverwood, Rowde.  By the end of March 2023, it is expected that a further eight vehicles could be deployed, dependent upon the speed of which drivers receive suitable clearances.  Further work in the form of a business case will be completed to determine how many more vehicles and drivers will be required to be supplied by Wiltshire Council to meet the appropriate demand.  The market will continue to be tested in this area, through regular procurement, as it is not the desire for Wiltshire Council to provide its own services in this area, it is doing so because the market is unable to support the growth in demand.


Tom Ince (Principal Compliance Officer) confirmed that driver numbers are growing and that Officers were currently contacting other Local Authorities to investigate the possibility of a new “schools only licence” and would report the findings back to the Committee in due course.


A Committee Member asked about the Council owned vehicles and their possible use outside of the morning and afternoon school runs, wondering if there was a wider community use that could be considered?  A Committee Member was aware of a responsive transport experience in Pewsey which could possibly be linked into?


A Committee Member was pleased to note that the immediate short term problem of transporting our SEND children to their education settings was solved and agreed that how the Council’s vehicle provision could be expanded to be more useful to the community could be explored and that it would be useful to understand what the long term plans are.


The Committee asked for an update to be provided to them following the meeting on the planned use of Council owned vehicles outside of the “school run” provision and on the anticipated shortfall for new pupils transport requirements from September 2023.


A Committee Member wished to pass on thanks to the Taxi Licensing and Passenger Transport Teams for turning the situation around and increasing the driver numbers. 




1.         That the Committee note the update on behalf of the Passenger Transport Team.


2.         That the Committee receive an update following the meeting on the following:

i)             The planned use of Council vehicles outside of the “school run” provision

ii)  The anticipated shortfall for new pupils transport requirements from September 2023.