Wokingham Borough Council has been working alongside its school transport providers to ensure a safe journey for those who travel slightly further to school.
To help with this one of our key measures is providing additional buses for those travelling to the Holt, Forest and Emmbrook schools along the A329.
Specific services are being put on to help students keep to their own school groups during travel, as well as distancing measures on these services.
We continue to operate as normal but with additional measures and buses in place to ensure it’s in line with recommended safe practices.
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 it’s sustainable transport team MyJourney will promote this through the autumn.
Cllr UllaKarin Clark, executive member for children’s services, said: “Walking and cycling to school is good for the health of our young people, as well as being a safe way for them to travel due to COVID-19 as it is less likely to be passed on outdoors.
“I would like to reassure parents and students about the measures which have been put in place on our buses, including the additional services. These have been implemented alongside the companies providing our school transport services, following Government and Public Health England guidance, in order to keep children as safe as possible.
“The council continues to support schools, staff, parents and pupils as we get ready to return them to school as safely as we can.”
There are a number of measures parents and their children can take in order to stay safe of the buses.
Before the school journey
- It is now the law that children and young people aged 11 and over must wear a face covering on public transport. This law does not apply to dedicated school transport. However, we recommend that people aged 11 and over wear a face covering when travelling on dedicated school transport to secondary schools
- 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
- 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
- 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.