With local authorities’ budgets under continuing pressure, it’s clear that transport must bear at least its share of the pain. How to finance bus services that are commercially unviable yet social must-haves in the face of ever-tightening belts is a conundrum, and one which is being tackled on the Isle of Wight with a different approach. Until 2012, Isle of Wight Council ran its own fleet of school buses, which also provided socially necessary links between school peaks. Its fleet was generally old and the council’s finances were short, so it decided to tender the school journeys. Southern Vectis, the island’s only commercial bus operator, duly won the work.