Getting you back to school safely 

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 dedicated buses and extra cleaning (using hospital grade products) to get children to school and back safely and now 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.

Back to school safety advice

What you need to know when travelling on our buses to school

  • We are operating all of the same buses that we provided for schoolchildren last year, whether on regular services or on school buses.
  • In addition, 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).
  • When travelling on ‘schoolchildren only’ services children should sit in their school bubbles as defined by the school in conjunction with the Department for Education. When travelling to school on regular bus services children should follow the guidelines for travelling on public transport and where possible sit upstairs on double deck buses.
  • School children can still travel on regular buses. Additional services will be running from Tuesday 1st September to provide more capacity for social distancing as well as getting children to school.
  • We highly recommend you get your Child key card from our travel shops at Crawley Bus Station and Redhill Bus Station as soon as possible. As with all shops capacity is limited in our travel shops and you need to wear a face covering.
  • Travelling by bus can lead to improved air quality, helping to keep us healthier. 
  • Using public transport can improve fitness and wellbeing. 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!

What we’re doing to make our buses safer for children when travelling to school

  • 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 Child key card online or getting tickets loaded onto your phone. Details of all non-cash ways to pay for children’s journeys, 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. 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.

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.

We have a customer services team available seven days a week to help with any concerns and questions you may have.

Download our School Information leaflet