Picture of two Sheffield City Council staff looking at QRoutes' maps on PC screens

QRoutes helps Sheffield with SEN school transport plans

Published:  11 June, 2018

Sheffield City Council has used QRoutes’ cloud-based software to work out the most efficient school transport routes for its Special Educational Needs (SEN) children.

The council provides transport for 1,000 children, taking them to and from around 35 schools in 160 vehicles and uses 300 drivers and passenger assistants.

The fleet includes a range of minibuses, as well as large specialist wheelchair lift vehicles and taxis.

‘We spent a long time trying to find software that could handle the complexities of Special Educational Needs transport,’ said Mike Keen, Sheffield’s Senior Transport Officer.

‘Then we heard that a new system was being developed specifically for SEN and that was QRoutes. It was clear that the solution had tremendous potential and since working with them, the developers have been very receptive to developing the software to meet our needs.’

Sheffield trialled QRoutes in 2017 and started configuring the system to their requirementsNow it has become the department’s main routing system and is used for planning and continually fine tuning approximately 145 routes. 

The system is also being considered for areas such as social care and elections planning.

‘The fact that it is web-based is a big benefit. Not only does it mean that we can access the system anywhere and anytime online, but it is very affordable and requires minimal IT support,’ says Mike Keen. 

‘The functionality is very good and the multi-layered mapping allows us to view as many routes as we want. It’s also very easy to use.’

‘Revised plans can be produced in seconds and we can switch and change parameters as much as we like to fine tune each plan.  It takes about 30 seconds to run a plan and the system will give us an array of around 10 different solutions to consider – that would have taken days to do in the past.

‘QRoutes is a tool that saves us a lot of time simulating different potential options and that frees us up to deal with all those pressing service issues.’

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