Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Unjoined Up Government

"The schools are open today" says Mario Lundy, reported on BBC Radio Jersey.

The same programme also carries the announcement from Connex that the school bus services are not running for the moment, and Connex advises users to stay home if you catch one - and listen to see when they will be running.

Didn't education think to ring the bus service? One tiny phone call before making their announcement. We hear so much about "joined up government", and yet when it comes to really useful matters, the old "law unto themselves" seems to rule.

The bus service, Connex, having sent out buses, then decided (presumably on the basis of reports from bus drivers) to suspend all services (as well as school ones) until 9.00. That's fair enough, but in the old days, I remember that Jersey Bus sent out a driver on the Corbiere route in a car to tell all those clusters of people waiting that there was not going to be any buses and to go home until 9.00 (or whenever). Sometimes the route did run to a safe location, and they used a car to take people to that location - for instance Jersey Bus thought the road Corbiere was too dangerous an incline, so they went to La Moye Pub car park, and a driver collected people from the stops along the way to Corbiere. That is a cautious but measured response. Not all roads are the same, and they took every road on its merits, and assessed the risk accordingly. The response of Connex, in comparison, seems rather like a headless chicken, or Corporal Jones from Dad's Army shouting "Don't Panic".

The BBC website now says Mario Grundy has told schoolchildren to stay at home until they hear the buses are running. That was not what was reported at 7.00-7.20 am this morning.

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