For months it has been raining complaints about student transport in the Duin- en Bollenstreek. The shortage of drivers has been communicated several times by carrier Noot as a cause, but there is still a lack of understanding of the situation. For example, a citizens’ initiative was launched this month to improve transport.
There would be illogical routes, far too long travel times and bad drivers. Omroep Bollenstreek spoke to several parents about this. Also Nicole Spits, mother of a highly gifted son of eleven years. She said that her child is traumatized and irritable and sometimes clashes with others. Empathy is therefore very important, according to Spits. According to her, if drivers cannot deal with this, it is a problem.
From the start of this school year, these problems have been raised with the municipal councils. Martijn Kersing, director of Noot, states that this is a result of a shortage of drivers, a problem that occurs at national level. He is therefore one of the many companies that is currently urgently looking for new staff.
Motion adopted for more control However, because the complaints continued to increase, the municipal council in Noordwijk decided on 7 October that a customer satisfaction survey had to be set up. The municipality wants to use this to find out what the experiences are with the carrier. In response, a representative of 19 parents pointed out that in their view the problems lie with the planning and the shortage of (suitable) drivers. , which means that children have to wait a long time for their transport.
Shortly afterwards, a motion was therefore passed in Noordwijk for more control on Noot. The aim of the council was to increase the pressure on the transport company to transport all students between home and school in the right way. The alderman was called upon to enter into discussions with Noot and parents of children who use student transport, and to keep Noot to its contractual obligations. Noot himself has not responded to this to date.
2021.000 signatures See you to date, however, the situation still does not seem to be improving. For example, a citizens’ initiative was recently started by a mother from Noordwijk about the decline in student transport. Of 40.000 signatures, the initiative can be brought to the attention of the House of Representatives. Furthermore, councilors of the municipality of Teylingen also expressed concerns about student transport on Tuesday. Alderman Arno van Kempen shares this concern. He emphasized once again that the complaints can be traced back to the driver shortage in the taxi industry.
According to him, the ever-changing situation in education as a result of the corona pandemic, among other things, also affects the student transport. Van Kempen has weekly contact with the carrier about these problems. Among other things, we looked at how the rides could be classified differently. The alderman states that he understands that the journeys have been made longer so that fewer drivers are needed. However, he said communication about the problems could have been better. According to him, a switch to another carrier would not be a solution.
No ill will from companies The staff shortage is an industry-wide problem. It therefore leads to problems not only with student transport in the Dune and Bulb Region, but also in many other places in the country. KNV therefore sounded the emergency bell last week. According to the industry association, the shortage of personnel at transport companies is now increasing to such an extent that it is increasingly being reported that journeys can no longer be driven on time or are even in danger of being canceled.
Chairman Bertho Eckhardt emphasized that it is not bad will of the companies that they cannot meet the transport demand. The trade association is currently working on solutions together with entrepreneurs in various ways.
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