Back to school travel – September 2020

As you may know, buses and trains are only able to carry about half the usual number of passengers because of Coronavirus. The government has now announced new guidance to local councils and families about school travel. To make sure that there is enough space on the public transport network for everyone, plans need to be made for the additional journeys that will be made as children return to school in September.  

About 20,000 children and young people use the public transport network to travel to school every day in West Yorkshire. 

The Department for Transport wants to reduce the number of school children on public buses by 50%.  In addition, where children and young people live less than two miles from school, they are asked to walk or cycle if it is safe to do so 


The West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) and the five West Yorkshire local authorities work in partnership to provide dedicated school bus services for around 20,000 children and young people across the region.  In September, when schools return in full, dedicated school buses will resume as before, with a small number of routine annual amends. The government says these buses will be allowed to use the full capacity of each vehicle.  The Combined Authority is working with councils and transport providers to identify which public transport routes will be the busiest in September. In addition to the 20,000 children who travel to school on public buses, another 20,000 travel on dedicated school buses. Subject to funding being available, more dedicated school buses may be provided.  


We urgently need to know how parents will respond to the Government’s guidance. By completing this short survey (less than 5 minutes) you can help us plan and protect the public transport network during the pandemic.  

Please view the page to find out more and access the survey here. 


If you have any questions about this, please contact the Combined Authority’s Education Transport team on (0113) 3481122   



Steve Wainwright  

Education Transport Manager