Changes to bus services during the Coronavirus pandemic

Some bus operators are running reduced services to align with driver availability and reduced patronage during the Lockdown.

The current timetables are shown on our main area timetable pages on this website, with a link to temporary timetables where appropriate.

Current and advance information or known changes will be published in good faith by Surrey County Council. If in doubt it is suggested that you visit the operator website or social media before travelling.

There may be further changes at short notice; please also check the forthcoming bus time table changes page regularly.

Bus timetable information is also available from Traveline www.traveline.info or call them on 0871 200 2233, 0700-2200 (calls cost 12p per minute plus your phone company's access charge)

Temporary bus service changes during the pandemic.

Some bus services are currently running with amended or reduced timetables, due to the lower levels of demand or to align with driver availability. Details of all services are given in the six main area timetable pages and advance information where known appears on the Forthcoming Bus Timetable Changes page.

What is happening to bus services?

Surrey bus operators are following the guidance issued by the government. Before travelling please take a moment to read the government advice for passengers:

Coronavirus: how to stay safe and help prevent the spread from 19 July - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

(COVID-19) Coronavirus restrictions: what you can and cannot do - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Please note: Current government travel advice is that you must wear a face covering on public transport, unless you are exempt

Bus operators are continuing to receive financial support from Surrey County Council and from central government, to help them through this difficult time. To protect the public and bus company staff, extra strict cleaning regimes and driver-shielding measures have been adopted. All operators are encouraging payment by contactless card/mobile ticketing where this is an option and if cash is used some operators are no longer giving change.

Concessionary travel for older and disabled people

To assist the elderly and disabled who may be travelling by bus for an essential journey we have asked bus operators in Surrey to allow free travel for holders of disabled/older persons concessionary bus passes before 9.30am.

The following bus companies have advised that they will no longer be able to continue to offer free travel before 9.30am:

  • From 18 March 2021: Compass, Stagecoach
  • From 29 March 2021: Arriva
  • From 19 April 2021: Safeguard Coaches
  • From 4 May 2021: First, Carlone
  • From 1 September 2021: Falcon, Metrobus

Bus services for schools and colleges

The government produced updated guidance on 14 July for transport to school and other places of education from 19 July onwards (see link at the bottom of the page).

Children and young people aged 11 and over must still wear a face covering on public transport. In accordance with advice from PHE, they must also wear a face covering when travelling on dedicated transport to secondary school or college. This does not apply to children and young people who are exempt from wearing face coverings.

Local bus services primarily for schools or colleges

Some schools and colleges are served by local bus services that are specifically designed for the travel needs of students. These are additional to the main bus network and run on school/college days only, typically with one journey in the morning and one in the afternoon. The government guidance to wear a face covering when travelling also applies to these services.

The timetables for bus services designed primarily for students are included on the bus timetable pages of the Surrey County Council website and are highlighted as 'Service only available to school or college students' where this is currently the case.

Check before travel

Further information is available from bus operators. Some services may have adjusted timings. The operator's website or social media should give details of current timetables for the services they operate and may also give details of fare payment options, season tickets available for purchase and measures they are taking to keep their customers as safe as possible.

The Surrey County Council website shows the latest timetables advised to the council, which bus services operate to schools and operator contact details.

For students taking local bus services to school, we reiterate the need for them to follow the government guidance on using public transport safely – including the wearing of face coverings (unless exempt).

In addition, please note that local bus operators are encouraging payment by contactless methods or pre-paid ticket, for those not entitled to a SCC Education Season Ticket. Some are not giving change, therefore pupils should be encouraged to have correct money if they buy tickets from the driver.

Bus operators have enhanced cleaning in place to help prevent the spread of coronavirus and some provide sanitiser on board. However, we advise passengers to take their own hand sanitiser and use it before and after travelling on the bus.

Precautions and general hygiene:

  • not travelling if anyone in the household has symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) or has tested positive
  • hand washing before and after each journey
  • wearing a face covering on bus services
  • additional cleaning of vehicles by operators

UPDATED 14 July 2021 - What parents and carers need to know about early years providers, schools and colleges during COVID-19 (May 2021) - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)