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To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that transport for children to travel to school during the covid-19 outbreak is safe.
Parents and children should consider walking and cycling to school where possible or driving if necessary. They should avoid the use of public transport where possible. The Department for Transport has published guidance on safer travel for the public. Parents and children may wish to refer to the guidance when planning their journeys, and to help them minimise risk where the use of public transport is unavoidable. The guidance is available here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-safer-travel-guidance-for-passengers.
Some children have their home to school transport arranged by their local authority or school. Local authorities and schools should put in place arrangements which fit local circumstances and minimise the risk of transmission, as far as is possible. This should include ensuring transport providers follow hygiene rules. They may wish to refer to the Department for Transport’s guidance for transport operators, which is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-safer-transport-guidance-for-operators.
The phased wider opening of schools will limit the number of children travelling on home to school transport in the initial phase. Where transport capacity allows, local authorities could consider substituting smaller vehicles with larger ones, or running 2 vehicles rather than one, to reduce the number of passengers per vehicle and help passengers keep their distance.
We are in contact with local authorities to help resolve issues as they arise.