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Schools' return travel update

Aug 25

A Message from TFL 

 

Helping your school’s students, parents/carers and staff plan safe, sustainable journeys to and from school

 

We know how busy you must be planning for the return of your students in September. We are too, and thought we’d share the latest information on how we’re planning to support the capital’s young people, students and Londoners travel safely from September, and how you can continue to help us. 

 

Our plans

Around 250,000 school children use London’s buses to get to and from school. So, from 1st September until the end of October we’re planning to...

 

  • Add over 200 extra buses to the network – across low frequency routes (those with less than six buses per hour) and 600 series school routes.
  • Prioritise some of our bus services for school travel. Government guidance allows for all seats to be occupied on these ‘school services’, doubling their capacity, which is currently limited due to necessary social distancing. These ‘school services’ will be clearly signed and will operate on:
    • All buses on 600 series routes;
    • Up to one in every two buses on high-frequency routes (mostly those with six or more buses per hour) which we forecast will be busiest when schools return; and
    • The extra buses we’re adding to low-frequency routes which we forecast will be busiest when schools return.

We ask that school children travelling without adults travel on the designated school services where these are provided, in order to help ensure space for customers on other services.

A reminder that ZIP Oyster Photocards are still valid for all school children and that free and discounted travel entitlements haven’t changed. Please note that if children move between 11-15 and 16+ cards they will still need to register for the next card.

By doing all of this we will help increase capacity and free up other buses for other customers including your staff, and also help enable London’s young people to make safe and reliable journeys to and from school.

Please note that these planned measures could be subject to change. We will continually review how our network is operating to ensure our approach is working and meeting demand as best as possible. Please regularly check tfl.gov.uk/reopeningeducation for the latest information on our services and safer travel guidance.

Our public transport network is clean, safe and reliable, with near normal levels of service. We introduced an enhanced cleaning regime earlier this year and have additional measures in place, such as signage and one-way queuing systems, to help customers maintain social distancing across our network. We also ask customers to wear face coverings unless exempt for age, health or equality reasons.

Our Streetspace for London programme has so far allocated over £3m towards 415 School Street schemes across 26 boroughs. These and other Streetspace schemes are making it easier and safer for people to walk and cycle to school and work and reducing the demand for public transport.

How you can help us

Please encourage your students, parents/carers and staff to walk, cycle or scoot to school wherever possible.

There are a host of helpful resources available including:

✓ Our new STARS Safer Journey Planner will help students and parents/carers plan their journeys and provide useful advice on walking, cycling and scooting to school safely. We are also encouraging schools to take part in STARS, TfL’s community project with over 1500 schools, nurseries and colleges inspiring young Londoners to travel sustainably, actively, responsibly and safely. Visit https://stars.tfl.gov.uk/ to get started and access free resources and support your schools to deliver more active journeys and guidance on School Streets.

 

✓ Our new online Cycle Skills course – aimed at both those cycling for the first time, or those wishing to refresh their skills. The course is available at https://cycleskillsonline.tfl.gov.uk/ and modules include cycle safety for young people as well as tips on getting you and your bike prepared for the road.

 

✓ TfL Go, our new app, which helps Londoners plan their journeys and follow the safer travel guidance. This app also provides walking and cycling routes to consider for all or part of your journey. This is now available to download for Apple devices at www.tfl.gov.uk/go. An Android version of TfL Go will be released in the coming months.

 

✓ New and existing walking and cycle routes - including those delivered through our Streetspace programme. You can now view a map of Streetspace schemes across London to help plan your routes.

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