Travelling to School FAQs

Whether your child/children use regular public transport, a dedicated school bus service or are eligible for 'Home to School' travel assistance, we know there will be lots of questions about travelling to school from anxious parents and families with the disruption the recent pandemic has caused. We have pulled together a list of questions and information about travelling to school and we also recommend you visit the Travel South Yorkshire website at www.travelsouthyorkshire.com for further information

Travelling to school using public transport and school buses

Extra dedicated school buses and coaches, funded by the government, will be running from the start of the new academic year, following consultation with schools, colleges and parents across the region. Many bus services on the general network will also see timetables reinstated to run close to pre-coronavirus levels, as more people go back to work when schools reopen. Changes have also been made to accommodate school journeys and in response to customer feedback.

However even with these changes, services will be different while social distancing is still in place, and capacity on buses, trams and trains may still be reduced.

Face coverings must be used on public transport including dedicated school buses by anyone aged 11 or above.

Parents are asked to plan ahead and allow extra time for travel. Social distancing may mean that buses may get full more quickly and pupils waiting at a bus stop may see buses drive past with ‘Bus Full’ signs on their destination screens. When buses have reached capacity (when approximately one in every four seats is taken) the driver will only pull up at the stop to let a passenger get on if a passenger needs to get off. A strict ‘one-off, one-on’ policy will be in place. Pupils will need to allow extra time for their journey and be prepared to wait.

You can find more information about changes to public transport in South Yorkshire.

Is public transport still limited due to coronavirus?

Some services are still impacted by coronavirus due to social distancing rules which means there may be less room on buses and other transports with services getting fuller, quicker. However Transport South Yorkshire have put plenty of resource in place and many bus services on the general network will also see timetables reinstated to run close to pre-coronavirus levels, as more people go back to work when schools reopen

More information about the wider bus services in South Yorkshire and changes to services is available at http://www.travelsouthyorkshire.com/servicechanges

Will my child’s school service or usual bus service used to get to school be running?

Transport South Yorkshire are providing extra dedicated school bus and coach services, and additional local buses, to help pupils that rely on public transport to get to school and college. These services will be essential to meet anticipated demand. Allowing more passengers to travel safely, while easing pressure on South Yorkshire’s public transport network.

You can find dedicated information about specific bus services serving Doncaster schools by visiting https://www.travelsouthyorkshire.com/en-gb/journeyplanning/school-buses

More information about the wider bus services in South Yorkshire and changes to services is available at http://www.travelsouthyorkshire.com/servicechanges

What is the safest way for my child to travel to school?

The government guidelines are currently encouraging as many families and young people as possible to travel to schools by walking, cycling and scooting if it is suitable for your family, as well as using your own transport where you can. You can also car/vehicle share if necessary, and it is recommended that passengers wear face coverings.

However, public transport is available and Travel South Yorkshire are working to have as much capacity as safely as possible to ensure all children can access transport to school. Those eligible for ‘Home to School Travel Assistance’ will also have options for transport as per your child and family’s needs.

My child needs to use public transport to get to school, is it safe and what are the guidelines?

Public transport is available for children and young people in Doncaster and Travel South Yorkshire are working hard to have as much capacity as safely as possible, with additional school buses and services being run by Transport South Yorkshire ready for the new school year in September.

It is important to note that young people aged 11 or above MUST wear a face covering on public transport unless they are exempt, and they may be turned away if they are not wearing one.

You can still apply for and access travel passes for children/young people, and more information about this is available on the Travel South Yorkshire website.

If your child or young person needs to access public transport to get to and from school, we recommend that they:

  • Pack and use a face covering – young people aged 11 and above are required to wear a face covering on all public transport
  • Plan ahead and allow more time than normal for their travels in case buses/trains are full or the service is limited – look out for buses with ‘bus full’ signs on
  • Make themselves aware of other bus times in case they cannot travel on the bus they are intending to
  • Pack and use hand sanitiser frequently
  • Use contactless payment options where possible
  • Avoid facing other passengers and maintain a 2 metre social distance where possible
  • If they have missed a bus due to full capacity and may be late for school, they may want to have their school’s number saved to call ahead and let them know if possible

Find out more about safely travelling to school or college visiting the Travel South Yorkshire website at http://www.travelsouthyorkshire.com/schooltravel

Can my child still access travel passes for public transport?

You can find out more about these and apply by visiting the Travel South Yorkshire website at https://www.travelsouthyorkshire.com/en-gb/journeyplanning/school-travel

Yes, travel passes for those children and young people who are eligible can still access them at this time, including Under 16 Megatravel passes, Zero Fare passes, and 16-18 travel passes.

Home to School Travel Assistance

Doncaster Council provides travel assistance and transport for a number of children and young people across the borough to ensure they are able to travel to school in a way that suits their needs. The council’s Travel Assistance service will continue to operate following the return of schools in September, ensuring ongoing arrangements and continued attention to all aspects of health and safety.

HOWEVER, the council and school staff are asking that families who access home to school travel assistance consider whether they are able to transport their own children as an alternative measure during this time. If you ARE able to transport your child as a temporary measure, you will be paid mileage for this as 45p per mile.

This request has been made because it is not usually possible to apply the recommended social distancing when a child is in a taxi, and this will be difficult even in a bus. If you are not able to transport your child, your travel assistance arrangements will be honoured. Where we are able to continue to provide transport for children, drivers and escorts will carefully observe Public Health recommendations for minimising risk and the use of PPE.

It is our priority that children are safely transported and protected and that drivers, escorts, parents and school staff are all protected.  While we cannot ensure that drivers and escorts remain unchanged, we will do our best to keep transport arrangements as regular as possible.

If your child does access home to school travel assistance, we are asking parents to contact their school to inform them of their travel requirements, whether that is that they need to access travel assistance, or whether they are able to transport their child to school and would like to claim mileage. Your school will then make arrangements with us. General information can be found on our Home to School Travel Assistance page.

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Last updated: 26 August 2020 12:00:50