Back to school

The safety of children returning to school is paramount - our goal is to get them there and back quickly and as safely as possible. 

We’ve put plenty of safety measures in place such as extra cleaning (using hospital grade products) and will continue to operate a comprehensive network of services to get children to and from school, while adding many additional buses to provide extra capacity. We also have six months’ experience of providing bus services safely during the pandemic. 

Our journeys for schoolchildren are in accordance with the guidance set out by the Department for Education and Department for Transport for dedicated bus journeys. We have worked very closely with the local authorities in all of the areas we serve and with the head teachers of many schools to get children back to school safely.

Watch our short film or read on to find out more.

Everything you need to know 

  • We are operating a comprehensive service for schoolchildren across our network.
  • We are converting a number of regular bus journeys to ‘schoolchildren only’ buses for the most relevant part of that journey. Schoolchildren only journeys are open to those aged 18 and under. Details of these journeys can be found here.
  • When travelling to school, children should sit in their bubbles. On regular buses children should sit upstairs on double deck buses where possible.
  • We highly recommend you get your busID online, or in store, as soon as possible. As with all shops capacity is limited in our travel shops and you need to wear a face covering.

Keeping you safe

  • Buses are cleaned every day with hospital grade cleaning products, plus on street cleaning is carried out up to five times a day directly on our buses.
  • Everyone must wear a face covering unless they are exempt. Children under 11 are exempt along with people who have certain medical conditions. If you’re unsure, click here for more information. We provide Helping Hand exemption cards to those who would like one. 
  • Over 90% of customers are wearing face coverings but we do ask you to show kindness to those who may not be able to wear one. 
  • We have reduced cash handling to minimise contact. If you do pay in cash a change voucher will be given in return which can be used in exchange for further journeys. Please consider alternatives to cash such as downloading tickets to your busID card online or getting tickets loaded onto your phone. Details of all non-cash ways to pay for children’s journeys, including some new options, can be found here.
  • Drivers' cabs are sealed, so they do not need to wear a face covering. If you are concerned about anything on the bus you can still speak to the driver.
  • To support social distancing, we have limited capacity on our regular bus services. This is advertised on the side of our buses, by the front door and on our website. The capacity limits do not apply on 'schoolchildren only' services, although the rear facing seats and seats within 2m of the driver will remain closed and there is no standing on any buses except bendy buses.

We will monitor the operation of school journeys very closely and make adjustments where needed. All information relating to safer travel and bus services is available here.

Why getting the bus is good for everyone

  • Reverting to increased numbers in car journeys on the school run will generate greater congestion and impact negatively on local air quality, especially around schools.
  • You can use our journey planner to see how many steps you've walked today and how many carbon emissions you've saved.
  • Travelling by bus can lead to improved air quality, helping to keep us healthier. Did you know the average walk to a bus stop in the UK is around 1,000 steps? If you do that five days a week for a year that over 260 miles – that’s the equivalent of walking to Disneyland Paris! 

Get in touch

  • We understand that going back to school will be a big change for everyone. Our customer services team are available seven days a week to help with any worries or questions you may have.
  •  You can contact them by email, social and telephone - details here

Download our School Information leaflet