Bristol, 10 April 2018 – Bedford Borough Council has employed the latest computer software from QRoutes to optimise the council’s transport services. With transformation of Bedford’s schools from a three-tier to a two-tier structure, policy changes meant that the council’s home to school transport network had to be reorganised. QRoutes route planning software was used to assess the most efficient routes and maximise vehicle utilisation. The re-structured services are saving the council over £200,000 a year in transport costs.
Bedford uses QRoutes, which is provided as an easy to use cloud-based service, to plan transport for 3000 school children, as well as 700 special educational needs and 1000 social care users. The council operates a fleet of approximately 50 in-house vehicles mainly for transporting the most vulnerable people, with mainstream school transport largely contracted out.
Although Bedford had tried other systems in the past, the task of building routes was still very much a manual process because of the complexity of the many variables affecting services. With the transformation of education coupled with budget reductions, the council had to find a way to improve the efficiency of council transport but with minimal impact on service provision.
“With council budget restrictions and policy changes we knew we had to review the council’s client transport network significantly. We needed software that could support this process of the best routes and vehicle suitability in view of all the complexities of school, special needs and social care transport,” says Chris Pettifer, Chief Officer for Transport, Bedford Borough Council. “Over the years we have tried different systems but none really delivered what we needed and were also costly. QRoutes has conversely been fantastic in providing an easy to use interface that cannot only re-plan our network in minutes but was also available as an affordable solution over the web.”