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Coronavirus - travel guidance for schools

Think about the way you travel - choose active sustainable modes if you can - allow more time for your journeys - plan ahead.

The government has set plans for all children and young people in places of education, to return full time from the start of the autumn term.

Social distancing rules on public transport services means the amount of people able to access bus and train services is far less than before the pandemic. And the road network does not have space for more car journeys to school. We want to continue to work with school communities to reduce car journeys and encourage travel by sustainable modes where possible to improve air quality in the area. And also improve the health of young people by building active travel into their daily routines.

While we continue to promote cycling and walking, we are working with public transport operators to understand any gaps in public transport services, or any travel issues which we may need to respond to during these unprecedented times.

Planning your Journey

Return to School for Parent and Pupils

We have teamed up with myPTP to offer a personalised travel planning tool to parents and pupils that attend a Slough school. The tool is free to use and will give a travel plan with your travel options for your journey to school:

Google Maps is a tool for planning your journey. Enter your start location and destination in the tool, and you will find walking, cycling and driving distances and times as well as bus and train routes and times.

Here's a short video to explain Google Maps features.

Public Bus Services

Where walking or cycling is not possible, we advise using public transport. Public transport operators in Slough have introduced measures to keep passengers safe:

  • safe distancing
  • wearing face covering and
  • provision of hand sanitiser at Slough’s busiest bus stops.

They will have reduced capacity due to social distancing and increased pressure on services. Outside of peak times will be less busy so you may like to travel then.

If you normally travel by bus, can you walk, scoot or cycle for part of your journey?

Some bus operators have safety measures to the inside of buses to help with social distancing. Other operators have introduced school buses during peak times, which are mainly to provide a bus service for young people.

Many operators now offer mobile apps – helping you to plan ahead. Check your bus route, the bus operator and access their information. The downloadable apps will provide you with up-to-date information on bus services.

There may be a timetable changes, so make sure you plan ahead, and leave more time for your journey.

If pupils are unable to board a bus

We will be speaking to Slough’s bus operators daily to monitor services.

Pupils should consider walking to school or home where possible. It takes approximately 20 minutes to walk a mile at a moderate pace. Use the walking map.

Before school
  1. Use the bus operator’s app to check when the next bus is due, or look at the real time bus information at the bus stop.
  2. Pupils should call their parent/guardian to let them know about any delays.
After school
  1. Use the bus operator’s app to check when the next bus is due, or look at the real time bus information at the bus stop.
  2. If pupils are still waiting to board a bus after 45 minutes they should call their parent/guardian to let them know of the delay.
  3. Pupils should walk back to school and to let a teacher know they are unable to board a bus. The teacher should call the council officer to arrange a minibus to pick children up from the school playground. The minibus will travel along the usual bus route and stop at the bus stops. The driver will not take pupils home directly.

We have a limited number of buses on standby and we may not be able to respond immediately. It is advisable to collect your child from school where possible and if they cannot walk home.

If you need to report a problem with a service, please contact

Home to School Transport

This service is for existing transport arrangements for SEN pupils and Slough resident pupils who meet the eligibility criteria in the home/school transport policy. This is not an additional transport service relating to our Covid-19 response.

Safety precautions have been added to make sure pupils and drivers remain safe. Where possible we request pupils wear facemasks. We have provided hand sanitisers on all of our buses. If you need any help with Home to School Transport please email

The Home to School Transport service has four minibuses with drivers on standby and available to pick up children who have been unable to board a bus at the end of the school day. The child will need to go back to their school to let a teacher know, who will then arrange for the bus to pick them up. This will remain in place until Friday 18 September.

Walking and cycling

Walking and cycling to school advice.

Staying Safe while travelling

You have to wear a face covering unless you are exempt from doing so. The GOV.UK site has guidance on wearing facemasks and exemption passes.

As part of your routine parents/carers and children should hand wash or sanitise throughout the day including:

  • in the morning
  • before boarding a vehicle and
  • again when they return home.

Carry a small hand sanitiser with you if you can to clean your hands before and after your journey.

If you touch door handles, seatbelts, railings or any other part of the vehicle, do not touch your face until you have washed your hands or used hand sanitiser. A face covering is mandatory on public transport and recommended on Home to School Transport where possible.

If a child or young person develops coronavirus symptoms while at school or their educational institution, they will be sent home. They must not travel on home to school transport or public transport. The school or educational institution will contact the parent who should make arrangements for the child or young person’s journey home.

Public Health

Slough’s Public Health site gives advice on how to reduce your risk of getting Coronavirus as well as how to improve your health and wellbeing.

They also have an infographic with guidance on sanitation, exercise and routine to improve your health and wellbeing.