Latest advice on travelling to school this September
Published: 27 August 2020
Travelling to school safely this September
Returning to school will be different this September with measures in place to encourage social distancing and keep each other safe. We are here to help you navigate your way through the latest advice on travel and to help you plan ahead.
Walking, scooting or cycling
Where possible, please consider walking or cycling to school as much as you can. It's a great way to stay active, which is good for physical and mental health. It also helps to cut delays around schools and keeps space available on buses for those who have no other option or are travelling further.
If you have younger children who you take to school and are spending more time working from home, then it's a good time to try something different and leave the car at home. But please avoid waiting at the school gate to help maintain social distancing.
For older children who have a safe route to school, walking or cycling is a great way to promote independence, and get into good habits which have long term health and environmental benefits.
Taking the bus or train
For pupils who take local bus services or train to school, please follow the government guidance on using public transport safely – including on wearing face coverings.
We are arranging extra buses where we believe the demand will be, but we won't know the full picture until term is underway. This may mean that there is a wait for some services at busier times, so pupils should allow extra time for their journey.
We'll be monitoring the situation to make sure we and the bus companies are providing extra capacity in the right area at the right time. As these changes impact a number of services across the county, we'll be informing schools of what's happening to their local bus services and asking them to pass on the information to pupils and their families.
Members of the public who use bus services around secondary schools at the start and end of the school day should check on the bus service information webpage to see if there are any changes which may impact their journeys and to travel at other times if they can.
Bus operators have enhanced cleaning in place to help prevent the spread of coronavirus. However, we advise passengers to take their own hand sanitiser and use it before and after travelling on the bus and avoid touching surfaces as much as possible.
There has been an increase in applications for transport with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) this year, and we're working through them at the moment. Additionally, in line with national guidance around using public transport, we're offering transport assistance to some SEND applicants for the first six weeks of the new term and will be contacting those families individually to confirm these arrangements as appropriate.
Dropping off in a car
If you plan to drive your children to school, consider parking or dropping off a few streets away from the gates and walk the short distance. This saves you being stuck in traffic and keeps the roads safer around the school, and prevents releasing unnecessary emissions from your car which can impact air quality. Your school may have places they suggest you use.
If you're considering sharing lifts with children from another household, it is advised that everyone wears a mask, keep the windows open, don't take too many passengers to maintain social distancing and to use anti-bacterial wipes to clean surfaces afterwards.
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