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Jobs offered to Coombs Travel staff after school bus contracts are cancelled overnight

PUBLISHED: 16:29 04 October 2017

Bakers Dolphin wants to speak to people affected by the Coombs Travel news. (Picture: Neil Phillips)

Bakers Dolphin wants to speak to people affected by the Coombs Travel news. (Picture: Neil Phillips)

Neil Phillips

Weston-super-Mare-based coach operator Bakers Dolphin is offering jobs to drivers affected by Coombs Travel’s decision to terminate some of its contracts this week.

Coombs' base in Searle Crescent. Picture: Google Street View Coombs' base in Searle Crescent. Picture: Google Street View

The Mercury reported this morning how Coombs, based in Searle Crescent, is facing an uncertain future after it cancelled eight of its school bus contracts overnight.

Although the business is still operating, the Mercury understands the Somerset County Council contract formed a large part of its school bus provision.

It means some staff, who were not on fixed-term contracts, were simply told not to go into work today (Wednesday).

MORE: Coombs Travel hands back school bus contracts as it ‘ceases to operate’ in Somerset.

Max Fletcher, the managing director at Bakers Dolphin, which has a base in Locking Road, said he was shocked to hear Coombs had handed back the school contracts.

He said: “We are trying to recruit drivers and staff at the moment so we are exploring how we can help by taking people on as we hear that some staff have been told not to come into work.

“We have many regular school contracts in the area and we are trying to get some clarity on what is happening at Coombs Travel so we can support anyone, both staff and customers, which have been affected.

“It is always upsetting to see a coach business hit difficulty.

“Coach travel is a very competitive and highly-regulated business that is difficult for those without the broad spectrum of income that we have to operate within.”

Mr Fletcher is in talks with Somerset County Council about the affected school routes.

Coombs Travel staff can also contact Derek Forbes on 01934 415000 for more details about the vacancies.

The Somerset schools affected by Coombs’ decision include The Kings Of Wessex Academy and Fairlands Middle School in Cheddar, Hugh Sexeys Middle School in Blackford and King Alfred’s School in Burnham.

The Mercury has made attempts to contact Coombs Travel, but has not yet received a response.

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