30 Jan 2010

School bus contract ended over safety fears

7:16 am on 30 January 2010

An Auckland bus operator which provides services for thousands of school children has lost its contract because of safety issues.

The Ministry of Education says it terminated the contract with PBC Party Bus after four vehicles were found to be unroadworthy.

The contract covered more than 30 bus routes used by 2000 students in North Shore and Northland.

The ministry says it received police advice when four buses were ordered off the road after spot checks.

Transport Agency tests found five of out 10 buses had defects and as a result the ministry could not have confidence the buses would be operated safely.

John Clark from the ministry says replacement bus services have been organised for all routes, except for three schools in the Far North, where alternative arrangements are still being made.

PBC Party Bus has been unavailable for comment.