Some schools will start a phased return following the easing of Government Covid-19 restrictions from 15 June 2020. You can find information and guidance for parents, guardians and schools to support pupils to adjust to the new way of travelling on this page.
Walk, cycle or scoot to school
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.
According to government guidelines, children and young people aged 5 to 18 need at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day. It's the perfect way to squeeze in more activity and you can keep a safe distance. 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.
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. It will reduce congestion and pollution around the school gates.
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. Physical activity is good for mental health, mood and self-esteem too.
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.
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. It increases children’s road safety awareness.
Cycling, scooting or walking the school run will save you and your family money fuelling your car. You’ll save money.
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.
To keep a safe distance, passengers can only use one in every four seats on board. 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.
Face coverings will be mandatory on board all public transport services from 15 June 2020. We’re working with operators to understand how the new face covering regulations will work on board and will keep you updated in due course. We are also awaiting further government guidelines in relation to exemptions including for health reasons.
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.