Operating in Hazardous conditions due to severe weather intro

If you're operating in hazardous conditions due to severe weather, there are number of steps to consider.

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Because of the size and diverse nature of the county, judgements on the most appropriate action to take can best be formed locally.

Who is responsible for deciding whether any road should be closed because of adverse weather?

The decision to close any road is made by the council’s highways team.

Who is responsible for deciding whether a school or day centre should close early due to adverse weather conditions?

In the case of severe weather, the head teacher or day centre manager will make the decision whether to close their school/day centre early due to adverse weather conditions. They will also decide if it is appropriate for them to keep their establishment closed on subsequent days.

Who is responsible for deciding whether it is safe to operate transport for school children or social services passengers during periods of adverse weather?

You. The transport operator will make the decision whether or not it is safe to operate transport for your passengers when severe weather causes hazardous driving conditions. 

Who should I contact if I feel I am unable to operate transport as contracted due to adverse weather conditions?

If it is out of office hours, it is essential that you call the county council contact centre immediately. All changes can be placed in the public domain as quickly as possible.

Phone: 0345 600 6400- for more details see Keeping the Public Informed.   

If the weather is deteriorating and a route must be changes or is unable to operate, If it is during office hours then you should contact the relevant school(s) or day centre and us immediately. Schools/day centres will release only those passengers travelling on the route affected. They can also help get messages to parents/carers. 

What action should I take on the day of adverse weather?

  • Drive in a manner appropriate to the road conditions. 

  • Report any incidents to ourselves (and, if appropriate, Police) as soon as you’re able to do so.   

  • Liaise with providers of “feeder transport” which connect into your route as well as all schools that you serve. Ideally all establishments in the same area will close at the same time. Head Teachers are also advised to take into account that some pupils at their school are dropped off by bus part way home and need to use a connecting service for the remainder of their journey. Contact us for further advice if necessary.  

  • Keep a comprehensive list of contact details for all the schools/day centres you serve as well as other transport providers whose feeder routes connect into routes operated by yourself.  

  • In addition, ensure you have an “I.C.E.” In Case of Emergency contact number for all the schools/day centres. you should have identified member of staff in case passengers cannot be transported home due to adverse weather conditions.  

  • Allow students time to contact their parents/guardians if they are alighting your vehicle at a different stop/different time than they would normally alight from/at due to adverse weather conditions  

  • Under no circumstances should a student be asked to disembark from your vehicle at an alternative stop. This must always be agreed with their parent/guardian or school.  

  • Liaise with the school to identify an alternative procedure for dropping students off if you are unable to operate the route as per schedule. For example: should students be returned to school, or other place of safety such as a Police Station or Social Services centre. 

In some rural areas it may be prudent to carry some grit and a shovel with you during this period. It has been known to be beneficial.  

  • If school transport operates in the morning, the school will assume that the transport will operate in the evening, unless informed to the contrary by the operator.  

  • If school transport does not operate in the morning and students are transported by parents, it is the responsibility of the school to confirm with the operator whether transport will operate in the evening and inform parents accordingly.  

Please seek authorisation from us if a school requests for transport to operate earlier than scheduled (or requests alternative transport) without authorisation from ourselves. 

Winter Gritting of the Road Network

Operators are encouraged to use their local knowledge to identify those parts of the road network which are not usually gritted during periods of freezing weather. A request for a section of road to be gritted or for a grit bin to be replenished can be made here. 

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