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February 09 2018
By Tim Deakin

Tim is Editor of routeone and has worked in both the coach and bus and haulage industries.

Teacher: Campaign jointly for licencing change

‘If unrestricted D1 required, schools will instead rely on a “grey fleet”’

A teacher has claimed that if teachers who drive minibuses are required to hold an unrestricted category D1 licence, many schools will instead rely on ‘grey fleet’ vehicles such as cars.

Doing so would cause further safety concerns, says Keith Nason. “It is far harder to check the maintenance standards of a ‘grey fleet’ than school minibuses.

“There may be a handful of schools that don’t test minibus drivers. Would they then be likely to be less rigorous in following a ‘grey fleet’ policy?”

Mr Nason believes that school transport should be provided by professional operators, but he says that will not possible with current funding constraints.

He adds that a quest for reform stands more chance of succeeding if it is mounted jointly with local authorities and schools, and if a demand for funding to cover the costs of D1 training is included.

Mr Nason adds that he is pleased that the local authority in his area tests school minibus drivers every three years, but he adds a concern that not all may operate to such a standard.

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