Free school transport FAQs
Why are you changing the process?
We have been utilising route optimisation software throughout the pandemic to assist with the planning of a number of different transport related tasks. This tool has been invaluable in enabling the transport team to plan routes efficiently during what has been an extremely challenging period.
Analysis of the current school transport network whilst assessing seating capacities during the pandemic has identified that there is a surplus of around 500 seats per day, this equates to 10 additional 50 seat coaches operating with no passengers.
We now wish to use the software to plan a more efficient home to school transport network which can be further enhanced through the implementation of an application process, ensuring that transport can be planned for those who need it.
The main reasons for this change are to reduce the:
- number of vehicles required daily to operate the home to school transport network
- carbon footprint in line with our climate change aspirations
- daily cost of operating home to school transport network
- congestion in and around school establishments
What is my catchment school?
Use our find it map by entering your postcode to show the primary and secondary catchment schools.
Please note there are three options to select from:
- primary school
- primary school RC (Roman Catholic)
- secondary school
It is important that you select the correct school.
How will I know if I am eligible for transport?
We have a statutory duty to provide home to school transport from the pupils main home address. This is the address that the child is registered to through the school:
- all primary pupils who attend and live more than two miles from their catchment school
- all secondary pupils who attend and live more than three miles from their catchment school
- on safety grounds if the normal walking route fails to meet certain safety criteria, contact us in such circumstances
How do we measure the shortest available walking route?
Walking routes are measured using all public rights of way, which is not necessarily the same as the route by car. Our geographical information software system is based on Ordnance Survey data, the most accurate available.
All distances are measured from the Post Office address point of the home to the nearest pedestrian school gate.
Do I need my route assessed for road safety?
Parents/guardians can only appeal for exceptional school transport where a child attends their catchment school and there is a significant element of danger for an accompanied child. The presence or absence of street lighting on a route is not considered to be a factor.
A route will be considered safe for a child (who is accompanied as necessary by a parent) where:
- there is a continuous footway, footpath or bridle path or level verge alongside the road
- there is no such footway, but the road is more than 6.5m wide
- there is no footway or verge and the road is between 5.5m-6.5m wide, but the traffic volume is less than 240 vehicles (two way) per hour
- there is no footway or verge and the road is less than 5.5m wide, but there is no location upon the route where forward visibility is less than the overall stopping distance (as indicated in the Highway Code) for the speed of local traffic
- the pupil concerned lives within walking distance of the school and the route to school would not be considered safe for an accompanied child based on road safety criteria, and there is a suitable public bus service available then a free bus pass will only be provided where a child is eligible for free school meals
How often do I need to apply for transport?
You should only have to apply for transport once. Please notify the school if your circumstances change, for example if you change address, so that we can ensure that this is reflected in the transport arrangements.
Will the pickup points change?
There may be a requirement to make some changes to stopping points based on the planned routes however any changes will be communicated to parents via group call in advance of the new routes starting. The majority of pick up points will remain the same.
When will I receive my bus pass for January 2022?
Bus passes will be posted to the home address provided by the school prior to new term commencing in January 2022. Again, If you move house during the school holidays, it is imperative that you notify the school of any changes so that passes can be sent to the correct address.
Will my child still be able to apply for a privilege lift?
Privilege lifts will be allocated based on seating availability. If there is sufficient space to grant a privilege lift we will write to you to confirm your space once your application has been assessed. Applications will not be considered until all eligible pupils have been confirmed and boarded.