Those returning to school or college next month are being urged to plan ahead and prepare for a very different commute to the one they were used to before lockdown.
Getting young people back into education safely and efficiently is a top priority for Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), which is part of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), and new advice and information for pupils and parents is being issued ahead of the new school term.
All buses and the majority of trains and trams will be running to ensure that students can get to and from school. However, capacity on board is limited in order to support social distancing measures.
Commuters are also warned that roads around schools and colleges could be very busy due to increased traffic on the school run.
Supported by a £2m investment from the Department for Education to increase dedicated school services, TfWM is working closely with councils and transport operators to ensure that the transition back into education is as smooth as possible.
The organisation will be helping schools and colleges with the latest government advice on travel and giving parents and young people advice and tips on planning their journey.
Using historical travel data to develop a travel demand management programme, TfWM will be identifying where it can increase capacity or provide measures that help keep people moving.
Travel advice includes:
- Plan ahead, with limited space on board there may be more demand for services at key times
- Leave more time for your journey as there may be a longer wait than usual. You may not be able to get on the first service and have to wait for the next one
- Try cycling or walking where possible
- Drop off differently, consider parking a few streets away and walking the short distance.
Anne Shaw, director of network resilience at TfWM said: “We are working hard to make it as easy as possible for people to get to and from school this September.
“We know that the journey will be different for a lot of people. The number of people who can get on public transport is limited and if too many people drive, delays around schools will increase and affect the wider transport network.
“It is important that parents and young people think about the way they travel and plan ahead. Consider how your journey to and from school or college will be affected and ensure you are aware of all of the latest guidance available.
“Getting our young people back into education is a top priority and we are committed to keeping people moving.”
As well as ensuring social distancing on board, at stops and at stations, face coverings are required on all public transport for anyone over 11 years old, except those exempt with a medical or health condition.
To find out more about travelling back to school this September, visit the dedicated page on the West Midlands Network website.