In line with Government guidelines, we’re still advising people to avoid public transport unless you have no alternative – and we’d encourage you to consider alternative travel arrangements for September. 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 severely 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 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
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.
We're advising people to avoid public transport where possible to allow people who need to use it, such as key workers, to stay safe.
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.
Walk or cycle where possible and avoid unnecessary journeys on public transport to reduce pressure on the public transport system and the road network.
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
Dedicated home to school transport buses for Primary school services are all funded by SYPTE. These are being provided where necessary and all operators are liaising directly with the schools.
Dungworth School (Sheffield) transport is being arranged by Sheffield City Council
We have contacted all 11-16 schools and post-16 schools and colleges to help with school transport needs. The following will be in place:
Darton College – Globe are liaising with the school to arrange directly
Horizon – SYPTE are funding two dedicated school buses until the end of term
Netherwood – Powells school bus to run as normal
Penistone – Stagecoach are liaising with the school directly
Ash Hill – Powells buses running from Thursday 18 June as agreed with the school
Campsmount – Powells bus running if required – school have confirmed they are not yet required
Hayfield school – Morning and afternoon bus being funded by SYPTE as agreed with the school
McAuley School - SYPTE are funding three dedicated school buses until the end of term – these are not required until 26 June. Route details have not yet been finalised.
Ridgewood – School have confirmed that buses are not required
Sir Thomas Wharton – Stagecoach bus running at revised times requested by the school
Wales Comprehensive - School have confirmed buses are not required at this time.
Bradfield School - School have confirmed that buses are not required
Newfield - School have confirmed that buses are not required
Tapton – the school is open and pupils advised to use local services (51 and 120)
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.
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.