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School transport FAQs

Mainstream school transport

Parents/carers of eligible pupils will receive a letter when transport has been arranged by the local authority. This letter will explain which transport provider will be taking your child, as well as their contact details and the contract number.

There is no application process, as we will notify you by letter if your child is eligible for free transport.

For primary age pupils, there is nothing you need to do. However, secondary age pupils require a photographic bus pass to travel. You will therefore need to complete an online form and a pass will then be sent to you.

The School Transport Team will inform primary school age pupils of their eligibility. Parents of secondary school age pupils will receive a letter before the start of the school year, which details how to obtain a bus pass. You must complete an online form with an approved passport sized photograph to receive your pass. Once complete, you will receive the bus pass before the school year starts. 

If you’ve applied for your child’s bus pass for secondary school and it hasn’t arrived yet, be assured that all passes will be issued by the first day of term or temporary printable versions will be emailed to all parents and guardians.

Children will not be refused transport during September if they have an expired or temporary bus pass.

If you’ve applied for your child’s bus pass for secondary school and it hasn’t arrived yet, be assured that all passes will be issued by the first day of term or temporary printable versions will be emailed to all parents and guardians.

Children will not be refused transport during September if they have an expired or temporary bus pass.

From October 2019 we will operate a ‘No Pass, No Travel’ Scheme. However your child can get a temporary pass from the school reception while a pass is produced.

Should your child not receive a pass by the end of August, please contact the School Transport team.

T: 01656 643643

You must notify the school and request that they inform the School Transport team. If you still qualify under the current eligibility criteria, we will contact you to confirm this.

Only permanent established living arrangements will be considered in relation to dual-resident pupils, and proof of dual-residence must be provided.

If a child stays at more than one address for a period of time, a different school may become their nearest suitable school. If this is the case, your child will no longer be entitled to free transport for the duration of their stay at the alternative address.

If the school your child attends is the nearest suitable school to both addresses, then free school transport will be provided. This is subject to meeting the relevant distance requirement of the learner travel policy.

If you place your child in a school which is not their nearest suitable, catchment school, then free home-to-school transport will not be provided.

You can visit the school transport bus route pages. After school drop-off times aren’t published, but you can request estimated times for your child's route from the bus operator directly.

For pupils not entitled to free school transport, details of public routes are on the Traveline Cymru website.

No. Pupils must walk to their designated bus pick-up location.

Pupils are advised to be at their bus stop 10 minutes before the scheduled departure time. If the bus fails to arrive after 20 minutes, pupils should follow the guidance notes on the reverse of their bus pass. They should ring the number printed and wait for instructions from the School Transport team.

No. School transport will only pick-up and drop-off pupils at their designated bus stop. The bus driver will not sanction or authorise any other address or drop-off point.

No. Each school route has an individual contract number, and only pupils issued with a pass for that route may travel. Any child attempting to board the wrong bus will be turned away.

Parents and carers of primary school children must ensure that their child gets on and off school transport safely. A responsible adult must be available at least 10 minutes before the agreed pick-up times as noted on the school bus timetable.

Should a responsible adult not be at the designated stop to meet a primary age child, the child will stay on the bus while it completes its route. It will then return to the child’s stop. If the responsible adult is still not there, the child will be taken to the nearest police station.

Apply for a replacement pass on My Account. Drivers are instructed not to allow pupils to travel without their passes. On arrival at school, the pupil must inform reception of the loss, and get a temporary pass.

No. Only eligible pupils can travel on school transport services.

Special educational needs school transport

Inform the school, and request that they inform the School Transport team.

Contact the School Transport team to check the status of your child’s transport arrangements.


Parents and carers must make sure that equipment is suitably maintained to ensure their child can travel safely. Wheelchairs should be fitted with the appropriate headrest, restraints and anchor points, inflated tyres, adjusted brakes and a charged power pack, where applicable.

Yes. Medication is permitted on school transport. Please ensure that medication is in a secure container in your child’s school bag, where other children can’t access it. The driver or escort must be notified that medicine is being transported.

The driver or escort cannot administer medication under any circumstances. In an emergency, they will stop, and call 999 for assistance.


Pupils not entitled to free transport

Sometimes the number of pupils entitled to free school transport from an area may be below the capacity of the vehicle being used. In such cases, the Local Authority (LA) will make spare seats available to pupils living within two miles (primary pupils) or three miles (comprehensive pupils). ‘Paying places’ are allocated annually. It must be understood that providing this facility does not represent an obligation on the LA to continue this arrangement indefinitely. Therefore it can be withdrawn at relatively short notice.

Also, the LA reserves the right to withdraw a paying place in cases where the parent/carer refuses to pay the charge. Furthermore the LA will take into account a parent’s/carer’s previous payment record when considering a new application. Where a parent/carer has refused/failed to pay in previous years, this may result in the new application being refused.

Where there are spaces available on existing vehicles, pupils may use a place for a fee of £380 per academic year.

Please email to request a seat purchase application form. You will be told of a decision within the first few weeks of the new academic year.

Free home-to-school/college transport

Learners are entitled to free transport subject to them:

  • attending their first full-time course at a further education college in the academic year when they are 16, 17 or 18 on 1st September
  • living beyond the three mile criterion
  • attending the nearest college to their home that provides their chosen course

For more information see the Home to School or College Transport Policy.

Eligibility for a free pass is assessed during enrolment at Bridgend or Pencoed Colleges. For out of county colleges, please complete the form on My Account.

Pupil behaviour

The Welsh Government has introduced the Travel Behaviour Code. It encourages safe school travel, and notes pupils’ expected behavioural standards.

If pupils do not follow the code, schools, colleges, and the local authority can take action against them for their own and others’ safety. This might involve taking away their right to school transport for a period of time and even exclusion from school.

If a pupil is excluded from school transport, the pupil’s parents or carers will be notified of the duration and reason in writing. Parents and carers will need to make alternative arrangements for the period so the pupil continues to attend school.

Damage to the operator’s vehicle may result in the operator recovering the cost of repairs from the child’s parents or carers.

No Pass, No Travel Scheme

Only pupils who show a valid travel pass to the driver on every journey will be allowed to travel. It affects secondary school-aged pupils, and from the start of the summer term on 29 April 2020, it will affect primary school-aged pupils.

Drivers are not allowed to transport pupils who cannot show a valid pass, even if the drivers know they are regular passengers.

Please ensure that your child has their bus pass before they leave home every day. It is essential that your child knows what to do if they have forgotten or lost their pass, and are refused travel. Options include returning home, telephoning a parent/carer, or going to a relative’s home. If a pupil is refused travel because they do not have a valid pass, it is a parent’s responsibility to ensure they get to school.

If your child loses their pass during the day, they should go to the school office to ask for a temporary pass. You can apply for a replacement pass on My Account.

Local authority staff will carry out regular checks throughout the year.

Complain or make an enquiry

To complain about an aspect of school transport, or to ask for more information, please contact us below:


School Transport team

Bridgend County Borough Council

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