Welcome Bay students are spending over an hour on the school bus and are still late to school, parents say.

Welcome Bay parent Michael Pugh said there had been so much growth in terms of housing and there was only one road out of Welcome Bay into the city.

"There's been so much growth in terms of housing and you can't get into the city any more without spending long periods of time in traffic," Pugh said.

Pugh said his children could spend 50 minutes on the bus getting out of Welcome Bay at times and they were always late to school.


"Our older children go to school at Bethlehem College which is on the other side of town and they've been arriving half an hour late up until this week," Pugh said.

The schools just start without them and if they miss it, they miss it, Pugh said.

"Every year it gets worse but this is the first year they're actually getting properly late, previously it might have been five or 10 minutes but now they're 30 minutes."

Bay of Plenty Regional Council Transport Policy Manager Gary Maloney said council became aware of some school services arriving late from Welcome Bay due to increased traffic congestion and subsequently brought forward all Welcome Bay Schoolhopper services to leave at 7:15 a.m. from Monday, February 19.

"Since the change, it appears route 413 may still be arriving late and further changes to this route are being considered, we will continue to monitor timings and make any necessary adjustments as required," Maloney said.

Deputy principal of Bethlehem College Tom Jarrett said the school was working with students to ensure they weren't disadvantaged because of the late buses.

"I think we're all aware that the traffic can be challenging and if a student comes late the staff will be accommodating and say 'Sit with someone and see the work that we're covering'," Jarrett said.

He said the school used online resources which could make it easier for students to catch up.


"We are keen to support students through whatever, whether it be sports tournaments or late buses," Jarrett said.

"We try to be proactive with bus companies to try to get the best things we can for our students and we just want to keep an open conversation going with the bus companies and the parents."

Senior administrator at Tauranga Intermediate Mike Bibby said bus companies were doing their best to try to accommodate students.

"The town is experiencing gridlock in lots of areas at the moment as we come to terms with a new year. I think once the year settles in things will get better," Bibby said.

"It's just that those peak times and I think people are all trying to anticipate the rush by getting up a bit earlier and it's just making it all happen a bit earlier.

"Common sense will prevail and the more people we can get on to alternative modes of transport the better. I know in our school the number of cyclists is increasing," Bibby said.