Nottinghamshire County Council has been working with schools to support them as they reopen for the autumn term, as well as helping our transport network respond to the impact of COVID-19.
All 337 schools across the county have now reopened, with appropriate measures in place, following national public health guidance. Transport services have been adapted where necessary, to ensure they meet the latest guidance, as advised by the government, with different arrangements for public bus services and dedicated school services.
The Council provides over 150 mainstream school transport services across Nottinghamshire and approximately 450 transport services for children and young people with SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities).
In total, the Council’s dedicated school transport network serves 7,500 pupils and students every day. 20 extra buses have been added to the network, with routes split up where needed, so they only serve a single school.
Public bus services social distancing measures mean that many services are running at half capacity, putting extra pressure on the bus network. Commercial operators are being supported by funding from national government and Nottinghamshire County Council, to run extra services as needed. The Council has contracted more buses on busy public routes to increase capacity.
Councillor John Cottee, Communities and Place Committee Chairman said: “Schools and our transport services have done a terrific job as we get into the start of the new term, to keep things running smoothly.
“It’s important for children to return to school, not just so they can learn, but also for their wellbeing, so they can socialise with people their own age, and have a sense of routine.
“We’re doing all we can to keep the transport network running well to support this, and we’re confident that schools and colleges are safe environments, where risk is minimal. We’ll continue to keep a close eye on things, and step in where necessary to keep things moving.
“I’d urge people to walk or cycle to school if they can, or if they do need to drive, to ‘park and stride’, so walking the last part of the journey on foot. This will help to reduce congestion around schools.”
More guidance on school transport, measures in place and other back to school information is available at www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/backtoschool