Coronavirus Public Transport Information

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Travel to and from schools and college

Updated 21 July
 



September return to school and college – travel expectations survey

With children heading back to school or college in September, we want to help make getting there a little easier. 

Social distancing measures, leading to reduced space on public transport, mean the way pupils travel to and from school or college to keep themselves and others safe needs to change. This may mean travelling differently and getting active by walking, cycling or scooting – if you can – will be the best option.  

If active travel isn’t an option for you, please plan your child’s public transport journey in advance and remember to allow more time as it may take longer to get to school. Space on the commercial public transport network is limited, with only around 45% of space available. 

We’d like to understand your plans so we can explore any public transport improvements we may need to make to support journeys to school. 

Please complete our short anonymous survey, which asks about your home to school / college travel needs from September, how your child travelled before COVID-19 and alternative travel options that are available. The survey is open until 12pm on Friday 7 August 2020.

 


Travelling to school and college

With strict national social distancing measures in place, the way pupils travel to and from school or college has changed to keep them, and others, safe. 

  • Consider whether you can walk, cycle or scoot to school.

  • The general public transport network is available for journeys to most schools for pupils who don't have alternative travel options.

  • We're asking parents and pupils to plan their journeys in advance and allow additional time as it may take longer to travel.

  • Parents should contact their school about home to school travel if these changes mean their child can't make the journey and, where possible, we'll support schools to look at the options available.

  • Temporary public transport timetables are still in place on the general public transport network. You can find the latest service information on our Service Changes page or by calling Traveline on 01709 515151.

You must wear a face covering on public transport to maintain a safer environment and prevent spreading the virus - you could be refused entry if you are not. 

You should also wear a face covering in other enclosed spaces where it is difficult to maintain social distancing. For example, at stations or interchanges.

Children under 11 don't need to wear a face covering and exemptions will apply to some passengers due to health conditions or disabilities. This includes people who have breathing difficulties and other respiratory conditions, visual impairments or mental health conditions. You can find a list of exemptions on the Gov.uk website exemptions page


School bus service changes


Primary Schools
Secondary Schools



Walk, cycle or scoot to school or college

In the past, one in four cars on the road during the morning rush hour were doing the school run. And with public transport being recommended for essential key worker journeys only, as we see some children return to school, this could be set to increase. But it doesn't have to. 

If you can, why not walk, cycle or scoot to school? There are lots of benefits.

It's the perfect way to squeeze in more activity and you can keep a safe distance. According to government guidelines, children and young people aged 5 to 18 need at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day. Adults should get a minimum of 150 minutes a week. At 1.6 miles, the average primary school journey can be safely cycled, scooted or walked.

It will reduce congestion and pollution around the school gates. Up to 40,000 early deaths are attributable to air pollution each year in the UK. Ditching the car and walking, or getting onto your bike or scooter is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint.

Physical activity is good for mental health, mood and self-esteem too. Teachers find that pupils who walk, cycle or scoot arrive at school more relaxed and ready to start the day than those who travel by car.

It’s a good opportunity to extend the school day if children are on reduced timetables. Walking, cycling and scooting together, looking at nature and season changes can help with learning about the environment we live in.

It increases children’s road safety awareness. Starting children cycling, scooting or walking more journeys from a young age develops road awareness which encourages independent travel as a teenager. It can also set them up for a more active adult life.

You’ll save money. Cycling, scooting or walking the school run will save you and your family money fuelling your car.

 

Social distancing measures

Social distancing measures mean it's likely that buses will reach capacity quickly, so pupils waiting at bus stops may see buses drive past with ‘Bus Full’ signs on their destination screens. 

Sit apart from others on buses, trams and trains. Seats will be marked as available onboard to help you distance.  When buses have reached capacity, drivers will only pull up at stops to let a passenger get on if a passenger needs to get off. A strict ‘one-off, one-on’ policy will be in place, so pupils should allow extra time for their journey and be prepared to wait. 

Public transport staff are not able to enforce social distancing on board and we expect pupils to be considerate, wear a face covering and distance themselves from others wherever possible. 

Most buses will display signs showing the maximum number of passengers they can carry at any one time, and posters on board will give pupils instructions about where to sit, for example in a window seat, and leaving an empty row of seats in front and behind. Standing is not allowed on board. 

You can find more about social distancing and face coverings on our Coronavirus page.

Wear a face covering