One firm told the Mirror filling a tank has rocketed from £1,000 to £1,469 in just a month and Rishi Sunak’s 5p-alitre fuel duty cut makes little difference
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Kids may be unable to get to class as soaring fuel prices hit school bus companies.
Firms are struggling to honor contracts and may have to increase prices – or operate at a loss.
The transport crisis is yet another blow to children who have already lost countless school days due to the pandemic.
At Hammonds Coaches in Nottingham, which runs 10 buses, filling a tank has rocketed from £1,000 to £1,469 in just a month.
Managing director Nick Hammond said: “We felt we were turning a corner after Covid. This is a fresh blow.
“A lot of contracted work is for schools which we are tied into for three, four or five years.
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“There’s very little wiggle room in that. It makes things very tight.
“We are running those contracts at , a loss at the moment, as the prices were set before fuel went up.”
Nottinghamshire Council has stepped in and paid more to keep their contract with Hammonds.
But other coach firms may have to shoulder the cost themselves – or break their school contracts.
Moran Milligan, of Milligans Coach Travel in Mauchline, Ayrshire, said they are tied into school contracts for five years.
She said: “We’re worse off as we are having to subsidize these school contracts.
“We are held into them, so there’s nothing we can do.”
She added that the Chancellor’s 5p-alitre fuel duty cut makes little difference and they will have to make school contracts more expensive.
Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said: “It is vital pupils can get to and from school.”
Shadow Schools Minister Stephen Morgan said the Tories must “match Labour’s ambition for children’s futures and put in place a proper recovery plan”.
He said: “Children have already lost out due to the chaotic mismanagement of learning in the pandemic and face further challenges as a result of the Conservatives’ cost of living crisis.
“The Chancellor has left businesses and families to fend for themselves, sitting idly by while children’s learning is put at risk of disruption once again.”