Schools minister Nick Gibb meets BUSK for Nightcap

first_imgEducation Minister Nick Gibb has listened to the concerns of coach operators around drivers not getting adequate rest on tour, in a “positive” meeting with BUSK UK.L-R: MP Jessica Morden, Pat Harris, Nick Gibb, Stephen Gaiger of Nightcap and Perry Payne of BUSKBUSK’s Director Pat Harris and other members of the Nightcap campaign met Nick Gibb and the Department of Education’s John Motley last Tuesday (19 April) with a file of evidence collected over the last two years, including specific details from PC Coaches of Lincoln, to ensure schools book adequate accommodation for coach tour drivers.Pat Harris told routeONE: “The Education Minister seemed very taken aback when we explained how some tour companies force drivers to share rooms, sleep in tents, caravans or sheds at activity sites, and share shower blocks with children where the shower cubicle doors stop at the shoulder and knee. This compromises the driver’s position and also breaches good practice safeguarding guidance for children.“The Minister was very surprised to say the least when he learnt that up to 30% of coach crashes are linked to driver fatigue. Part of the research was undertaken by Loughborough University on behalf of the European Commission.“The same report stated that most crashes happen in the early morning hours or at the end of a shift. BUSK told the Minister that by the end of a shift some of these drivers will have been awake for 30-plus hours.“BUSK views the meeting as highly successful, and we are encouraged by the positive comments from both the Department of Education and the Minister.“We are also hearing from more and more coach companies that are planning to stop allowing their drivers to share rooms once their contracts for 2016 are completed. This rolling programme approach is excellent and we expect that more and more schools too will start to ask more pertinent questions of tour companies as they learn about how some of them are willing to put the party at risk by breaching their legal obligations.”last_img read more