Travelling to school

Active travel

Please consider how your child will get to and from school safely when they return to school or college. Where possible please walk, cycle or scoot if you live a short distance (2 miles or less) from school. This will help to reduce pressure on the public transport network for those who need it most.

For more useful active travel tips and advice, check out 'the new you' back to school campaign.

Travelling by car

We know it isn’t always possible to walk, cycle or scoot to school so we would encourage parking a short distance from school and walking the short distance. This will reduce congestion in and around the school entrance and help keep everyone safe.

Try to give additional space and time to cyclists, scooters and pedestrians and park away from schools to respect their safety and the needs of residents close to schools and colleges.

Car sharing

You should not currently car share with anyone who is not in your household or support bubble.

Travelling by bus

Plan ahead when using public buses. Allow extra time for your journey as there may be a wait for some services at busier times. There may be limited space on board as there may be more demand for services.

Carry hand sanitiser and wash your hands before and after travelling and social distance where possible. Face coverings are mandatory for passengers including school children aged over 11 unless exempt.

In accordance with government guidance, the council has been working with the bus companies to identify which bus routes are expected to be the busiest following the full reopening of schools and colleges. To support social distancing on public bus routes and, where possible, to facilitate the separation of pupils from different schools travelling on the same service, 34 additional bus services have been provided.

Travelling on dedicated school transport

Dedicated school transport is defined as buses, minibuses and taxis reserved exclusively for students. They are not open to the general public.

There is no requirement for social distancing on these services, because:

  • dedicated school transport is safe, services have been COVID-19 risk assessed. Transport operators, drivers and passenger assistants will be working to revised good practice guidance
  • the overall risk to children from COVID-19 is low
  • students will not come into contact with the general public on transport
  • children and their families should now be familiar with public health guidance and how to protect themselves and others
  • face coverings are mandatory for passengers over 11, without a specific medical exemption.

We remain under a statutory duty to provide free home to school travel for all eligible children. It will not be possible to supply transport in year group bubbles, as this is geographically prohibitive.

Passengers have a responsibility to social distance as far as vehicle capacity allows.

Segregation of children by age will be difficult to enforce, but in practice occurs organically as children of a similar age gravitate together.

Dedicated transport will not be able to vary timings to accommodate schools that stagger opening and closing times.

Parent and carers guides for travellers on dedicated transport:

Students eligible for free home to school transport

Student eligibility for supported home to school transport will be assessed in the normal way. The application process depends on where you live:

Where travellers are dissatisfied about the mode of free transport awarded, they may appeal, however it is unlikely that an alternative mode of travel will be funded by ourselves.

Find out more and apply for help with school transport in your area.