Wokingham Borough Council has once again been working alongside its school transport providers to ensure a safe journey for those who travel slightly further to school.
From Monday 8 March, all school buses will be reinstated. For those students travelling to the Holt, Forest, and Emmbrook schools this means providing additional school buses on the 202 and 244.
For students travelling to Bohunt School, the 92, 93 and 903 will once again be running. Whilst passenger numbers remain lower than normal, the Leopard 3 will not increase in frequency at this time.
These additional services are being put back on to help students keep to their own school groups during travel, as well as maintaining social distancing measures on these services.
Further information on school buses and public bus and rail services which will be operating from Monday 8 March can be found here.
Walk or cycle if you can
For students and staff who have the option to get to school by walking or cycling, they should do so – Wokingham Borough Council and its sustainable transport team, MyJourney, will promote this through the spring.
Cllr UllaKarin Clark, executive member for children’s services, said: “The risk of catching or spreading Covid-19 is lower outdoors, making walking and cycling good choices for children and young people; not to mention the health and environmental benefits.
“Throughout the pandemic, our aim has always been to keep our residents as safe as possible, and this includes our youngest cohort. Our teams are continuing to follow a range of safety measures on our buses, alongside additional services to ensure social distancing.
“The council continues to support schools, staff, parents, carers and pupils, as we get ready to return them to school as safely as we can.”
There are a number of measures parents, carers and children can take in order to stay safe on buses and trains.
Before the school journey
- When waiting for a bus or train children and young people aged 11 and over should wear a face covering unless medically exempt
- If you need to buy a ticket, consider buying an electronic ticket in advance or using a smart card
- Journeys may take a little longer to ensure no crowding when getting on or off of the bus, please be patient and wait 15 minutes past the scheduled pick-up time before reporting any non-arrivals
- When boarding and alighting from the vehicle, do so in a calm and orderly manner maintaining a distance from the passenger in front of you
During the school journey
- When travelling on buses and trains it is law that children and young people aged 11 and over must wear a face covering, unless there is a valid exemption. This law now also applies to dedicated school transport to secondary schools
- Where a bus pass is required, it must be shown to the driver rather than handing it to them to hold
- Passengers must fill from the back and leave from the front, avoiding passing others in the aisle, unless travelling on a dedicated school bus with allocated seats
- Where available, passengers must use the hand sanitiser provided when entering and leaving the vehicle
- Passengers must treat all people at the designated stop, including other passengers and staff, with respect and understand that some may be at higher risk
- Passengers must not intentionally cough, spit, or invade another passenger’s space or the driver’s space
At the end of the school journey
- Passengers must take all belongings with them when exiting the vehicle, it will be more difficult to return forgotten items during this time
- Passengers must check the area outside of the vehicle doors before exiting and adhere to the appropriate and current social distancing legislation, there may be other students or public passing the vehicle
Students can also read the home to school transport behaviour code of conduct if they are unsure of the behaviour expected.
If your child gets the train to school, they will need to wear a facemask during their journey to comply with the law in England, if they are aged 11 or older unless they have a valid exemption.
For full rules on public transport use visit the UK Government website. Students in Wokingham Borough are likely to get the train with either GWR or SWR depending on where they are travelling.
You can read the GWR guidance for Covid-19 travel here.
You can read the SWR guidance for Covid-19 travel here