Dear Sir or Madam,
Dorset County Council (DCC) has now awarded new contracts for supported public and schools transport services.
The new contracts, which replace those due to expire in July, cover seven core public transport routes and 13 secondary/upper schools (plus five middle schools). These have been awarded to four local bus companies:
Go South Coast (Damory);
First Hampshire and Dorset;
South West Coaches; and,
The new contracts cover two elements of travel support provided by the council, which represent a significant step towards realising the council’s Passenger Transport Strategy:
a core network of seven public bus routes between Dorset’s market towns that help support Dorset’s economy by helping people travel to school, college, training or work; and
13 school contracts allocated on a ‘one school, one operator’ basis. This provides a more simple approach, allowing schools to develop working relationships with a single bus company.
The council’s Cabinet agreed these changes last September, following a public consultation on the proposals between May and July.
There are a total of around 100 public transport routes in Dorset, of which 35 are currently supported by the county council – please see attachment for details of affected routes. About 70 per cent of existing public transport routes will continue to operate after July. These routes account for over 90 per cent of public transport usage in the County.
The county council is working with the operators to retain some currently subsidised routes on a commercially operated basis. We will keep you updated with progress as more certainty is gained about these services. The council is also working very closely with communities to advise on community transport alternatives.
The seven public transport routes between Dorset’s market towns will start on 24 July. These are:
· Route 1 – Blandford to Sherborne – South West Coaches (currently operated by Damory as Service X10)
· Route 2 – Shaftesbury to Gillingham – South West Coaches (currently operated by Damory as Services 59 and 158)
· Route 3 – Blandford to Shaftesbury – South West Coaches (currently operated by Damory as Service X9)
· Route 4 – Sturminster Newton to Gillingham – South West Coaches (currently operated by Damory as Service 309)
· Route 5 – Blandford to Dorchester – First Hampshire and Dorset (currently operated by Damory as Services X12 and 187)
· Route 6 – Blandford to Salisbury – Go South Coast (currently operated by DCC as Service 20)
· Route 7 – Sherborne to Dorchester – South West Coaches (currently operated by Damory as Service X11)
The new school transport contracts will start in September. The council has been working closely with bus operators and schools to make any changes to services as smooth as possible. The following list gives the schools and operators on the ‘one school, one operator’ (OSOO) contracts.
First (Hampshire and Dorset)
Sir John Colfox School, Bridport; and,
Woodroffe School, Lyme Regis.
Go South Coast (Damory)
Allenbourn Middle School, Wimborne;
The Blandford School;
Dorchester Middle School;
Ferndown Middle School;
Ferndown Upper School;
Lytchett Minster School;
Purbeck School, Wareham.
Queen Elizabeth’s School, Wimborne;
Shaftesbury Upper School;
St. Michaels Middle School, Wimborne;
The Thomas Hardye School, Dorchester; and,
West Moors Middle School;
South West Coaches
Gillingham School; and,
Gryphon School, Sherborne.
Sturminster Newton High School.
More information about changes to school and public bus routes can be found at:
More information on community transport can be found at:
The community transport guidance and toolkit is available at:
The Passenger Transport Strategy is available at:
The best place to keep up-to-date with changes to timetables is via Traveline South West:
Joseph Rose MSc IEng MCIHT
Dorset County Council
County Hall, Colliton Park
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Public and Schools Transport Review – List of Affected Routes.