UPDATE ON SCHOOL TRANSPORT

Please find below the latest update on school transport:

At the end of the first full week of the school term, I thought it worth updating you on the school transport provision.  Overall the week has gone well and we have the resources we need.  There have been some localised incidents, but each have been resolved by the following day.  The additional buses we have commissioned are in operation and we have some vehicles and drivers in reserve to deal with eventualities. We are meeting with bus operators daily immediately after the morning school run to identify and resolve issues as they arise.

 From next week all school pupils will be back and we be keeping a close eye on capacity and overcrowding issues.  FE students are also beginning to go back to college now and again the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and bus operators will need to watch for overcrowding issues and respond accordingly.

 I am aware that some members of the public have expressed concerns about school pupils not wearing face coverings or social distancing.  Everyone over 11 must wear a face covering to travel on a bus unless exempt under Government guidance.  We are stepping up our communications in this regard and are seeking assistance from schools in reinforcing this point.  Whilst bus drivers can encourage the wearing of face coverings, they cannot refuse to carry a pupil without a face covering as this could give rise to a safeguarding risk.  On social distancing, Government guidelines allow a bus service which only carries pupils to a specific school to operate at its full capacity.  This means the public will see some full buses and congregations of pupils waiting at bus stops and interchanges.

 I hope you find the above helpful and I will keep you up to date with how school transport operates next week.”