As one of the main providers of transport for schools and colleges in the East Lancashire area, I would like to take this opportunity to explain the reasons why you would benefit from using Blakewater Coach Hire for your coach travel needs. We are very aware of the responsibilities and liabilities imposed on staff when pupils and students are taken off site and operate our business with the highest regard to safety and security.
If you wish to know the bus timetable for St. Wilfrids High School, Walton Le Dale or St. Michaels, Chorley - please contact Lancashire County Council Bus Services Department.
All staff & drivers
- Criminal Records Bureau cleared to enhanced level.
- Training or achieved level 2 NVQ.
- Receive ongoing training in relevant fields.
- Contracted & work to a comprehensive company handbook.
- Modern well equipped vehicles from 16 – 70 seats.
- Excellent maintenance & compliance standards.
- 24 hour breakdown & recovery service with spare vehicle availability.
- Seat belts fitted to all vehicles & seats.
- Three point seatbelts available on some vehicles (must be pre booked)
- Smoking not permitted.
- Comprehensive road risks.
- Employer / employee liability £10,000,000.
- Public liability £10,000,000.
Health & Safety
- Risk assessed for transport, health & safety & fire.
- Complete health & safety policy.
- Customer care & complaints policy.
- Copies of all policies & assessments are readily available and can be e-mailed, faxed or posted upon request.
Telephone Head Office 01254 661156 or Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Coach Transport Briefing
What every teacher needs to know about schools transport
As you will know, the Department for Education and Skills has produced guidelines* for teachers organising school trips. These health & safety measures place responsibility on teachers to check every aspect of your pupils’ journey, including the competence of your travel partners. Blakewater Coach Hire takes its responsibilities in that partnership very seriously. Based on the DfES and LEAS’ guidance*, we have set out to answer here the questions you will need to consider before booking a coach.
* The detailed guidance is set out in the DfES booklet Health & Safety of Pupils on Educational Visits (ref HSPV2 - for a copy, call 0808 100 50 60) and in the supplement Standards for LEA in overseeing Educational Visits (DfES publication 0564/2002 or www.teachernet.gov.uk/dockbank/index.cfm?id=2576).
Be in a position to verify:
- Driver competence and the transport provider’s understanding of drivers’ hours regulations.
- The transport provider’s breakdown contingency plans and insurance.
- Their policy for comfort stops en-route.
- The safety equipment on the coach, including first aid and fire extinguisher.
The coach operator is required to maintain:
- Their ‘good repute’.
- A current Operator’s Licence.
- Vehicles to VOSA standards of compliance and roadworthiness.
- Seatbelts to current standards.
- For packages including accommodation, compliance with package holiday regulations.
Safety and Risk Assessment:
Blakewater Coach Hire has a regularly updated risk assessment for transport and in particular coaches used for school trips. Drivers are issued with a handbook, containing pertinent information to carry out their duties both professionally & in line with company policy and procedures. Blakewater Coach Hire has a written health and safety policy, complying with HSE guidelines. Copies of the above documents are available on request.
Driver Competence and Suitability:
Blakewater Coach Hire select drivers based on strict criteria and all staff are CRB enhanced cleared. Drivers are regularly tested on their knowledge of the relevant law and trained to a minimum of NVQ level 2 in Land Transport. Work will always be scheduled to meet the legal requirements.
Blakewater Coach Hire’s modern fleets are maintained to the highest standards. In the unlikely event of a breakdown, 24-hour cover is provided and we can provide you with emergency contact numbers.
Itineraries will be planned to provide ample comfort stops. Please help us by ensuring pupils do return to the coach on time - this is especially important for compliance with driver’s hour’s regulations.
Coaches will be equipped with all required safety equipment, including fire extinguisher, window hammers, adequate safety exits and a first aid kit. Seatbelts will be provided for all seats and it mandatory that they are worn whilst the vehicle is in motion.
Licensing and Insurance:
Blakewater Coach Hire will gladly provide details of their Operator’s Licence and a copy of all their insurance certificates on request. Maintaining ‘good repute’ is prerequisite to holding our PCV licence.
Package Holiday Regulations:
Blakewater Coach Hire in accordance with “Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992” we can confirm all customers monies relating to the above is deposited and held in a secure client account with our bank until the completion of the hire.
All coaches are provided in a clean and safe condition.
The journey documents will accurately reflect the customers booking as per our terms and conditions.
There is an effective customer care and complaints procedure.
Blakewater Coach Hire has an office open from 09.00am – 5.30pm Monday – Friday. 09.00am - 12.30pm Saturday.
There is a 24 hour contact procedure in case of emergency.
Customer Care & Service Standards
This Policy Statement formally acknowledges that the quality of service provided to our customers is of the highest priority to all employees of Blakewater Coach Hire. Our customers can contact us by telephone and fax between office hours 09.00am – 5.30pm Monday-Friday, 09.00am-12.30pm Saturday, e-mail at anytime and by mail. We strive to provide a service driven by quality, punctuality and reliability to all our customers and the community, maximising the benefits of coach and bus travel through the services we provide. We are also committed to ensuring that our services are accessible to all who seek to use them irrespective of religious belief, disability, race, sexual orientation, gender or age. All staff are committed to assisting customers and demonstrating that they care about their needs. All staff will provide a competent, courteous, helpful and friendly service to the highest professional standards. At all times staff will seek to demonstrate a flexible and responsive attitude to customers. This Policy Statement will apply to internal and external customers.
When you phone us
We will endeavour to answer all calls at first point of contact within five rings. We will give our name when we answer. If we cannot deal with your enquiry immediately we will give you the name of the person the enquiry will be passed to, and say when we expect to respond to your query.
When you can phone us
You can phone or fax us between 07.30am and 19.00pm Monday to Sunday. Outside these hours you will be able to leave a message on an answer phone. Faxes outside these hours by arrangement only.
When you write to us
We will acknowledge straightforward correspondence within five working days of receiving it. We will send a reply to more complex correspondence within seven working days. If we cannot give you a reply within seven working days we will write to you, explain why and tell you when you can expect a reply.
You may e-mail us at infoblakewatercoaches.co.uk at any time; we will endeavour to respond to all e-mails on the same day excepting Christmas Day
The person you have been dealing with can deal with most complaints informally and quickly. However, if you prefer or are still not satisfied, you should contact the Office Manager who will investigate your complaint and reply within seven working days. If you are not satisfied with this reply you can write to the:The Managing Director, Blakewater Coach Hire, The Depot, Fletcher Street Mill, Hamilton Street, Blackburn BB2 4AJ. Who will also reply within seven working days. In all cases your complaint will be: acknowledged within seven working days; investigated thoroughly; and sympathetically; treated confidentially. If there is going to be a delay we will let you know the reason and when you may expect to receive a detailed reply.
Do I have to complain in writing?
Many people are put off making a complaint because they have to make it in writing. Although we prefer complaints in writing you do not have to do this. We will accept your complaint by telephone or by e-mail. If your complaint is serious we may ask you to put it in writing so that we can be absolutely clear about which parts of our service you are you are unhappy with.
What if I am still not satisfied?
If you have received a reply from the Managing Director and you are still not satisfied, you can ask for the matter to be referred to independent arbitration. The arbitrator will normally expect you to have used our complaints procedure before considering your complaint.
Managing the process
We track and monitor all enquiries to ensure our promises are delivered. We will then analyse comments and complaints to learn what can be done to improve and enhance our services. Regular meetings are held between management and office staff to maintain a high level of service and communication.
Head Office: The Depot, Fletcher Street Mill, Hamilton Street, Blackburn, BB2 4AJ
Office Telephone Numbers: Blackburn 01254 661156 Rossendale 01706 211223 Burnley 01282 831712 Darwen 01254 773285
Fax: 01254 296941