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School transport (September 2021) FAQs

The local authority intends to run all dedicated home-to-school transport as normal from the start of the autumn term in September 2021.

As the local authority has retendering its school transport contracts, some transport operators and routes may change from September 2021.

Please check the link below for further detail on pick up times and locations.

Information on school transport pick up times and locations.

All new starters will receive a letter providing details of the transport arrangements for September.

With limited staff resources in the School Transport Team please do not telephone the local authority unless it is urgent.

If you have any queries, please email and the team will respond to you as soon as possible. 

If you have received a letter informing you of your child’s eligibility for home-to-school transport, but have not received a bus pass prior to September 2021, this will not affect your child’s ability to use transport.

Nevertheless, only those learners who were eligible for free home-to-school-transport in the 2020-2021 school year or those who have been informed in writing of their eligibility from September 2021, should attempt to travel.

Changes to government guidance may impact upon these frequently asked questions. You are therefore advised to check them from time-to-time.

No-pass, no-travel scheme

The local authority will recommence the ‘no-pass, no-travel’ scheme for all secondary age pupil transport from September 2021. Only pupils presenting a pass on entry to a school transport vehicle will be allowed to travel.

However, there will be some flexibility to allow pupils to receive their passes from their school in the first two weeks of the autumn term only.

School transport (September 2021) FAQs

It is the local authority’s intention to operate school transport as normally as possible from the start of the autumn term 2021. 

No. There will be no change in eligibility as a result of the current situation.

All eligible learners will receive a letter from the local authority’s School Transport Team prior to the start of the new school year in September 2021.

There is no requirement to maintain contact groups/’bubbles’ on school transport providing a consistent group of learners travel on the same bus each day they attend. 

Wherever capacity allows, social distancing will be implemented between learners, or groups of learners, and between drivers/passenger assistants, or escorts, on dedicated local authority provided home-to-school transport services.

All secondary age pupils (Year 7 and above) are required to wear a face covering on dedicated home-to-school transport. There is no requirement for primary age pupils to wear a face covering.

Please ensure your child has a face covering on their first day of school and thereafter as they will not be allowed to use the school transport vehicle without one.

Pupils with medical conditions or with additional learning needs are not recommended to wear a face covering but may do so if they wish.

Some children may be provided with an alternative vehicle e.g. minibus or taxi at the discretion of the local authority or to meet individual needs.

Schools are responsible for implementing seating plans on all large school transport vehicles e.g. big buses.  Therefore, schools may allow siblings or pupils from the same household (they live together in the same property) to sit together.  

Learners in primary schools who are eligible for home-to-school transport need to be accompanied to their nearest bus stop by a responsible adult (from the same household) unless they have a prior arrangement with the local authority for exemption. 

Secondary school learners do not need to be accompanied to the bus stop/pick-up point.

Nationally agreed social distancing should be adhered to at all times.

All learners in primary school must be received at their bus stop/pick-up point by a responsible adult at the end of the school day, unless they have a prior arrangement with the local authority for exemption.

There is no statutory requirement to provide escorts, although the local authority will assess the needs of learners and determine the appropriateness and availability of escorts in all cases.

Yes, this requirement was suspended for the 2020/2021 school year but will be introduced again for the 2021-2022 school year commencing on 3 September 2021. 

Secondary school pupils who do not present their pass on entry of a school transport vehicle will be refused entry.  It is the responsibility of parents/carers to ensure their child has their bus pass with them at all times and to arrange onwards travel to school if their child is refused entry to a school transport vehicle by a driver.

Yes, the local authority is able to consider applications for discretionary transport. 

The ‘paying place’ scheme is currently suspended until there is further clarity on the exemption of school transport vehicles under the Public Service Vehicle Accessibility Regulations (PSVAR).

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 in the event they have forgotten or lost their pass and are refused travel.  This could be returning home, telephoning you as the parent/carer or going to a relative’s home.  If a pupil is refused entry onto a school bus because they do not have a valid pass, it is a parent’s responsibility to ensure that they get to school.

Please talk to your child about maintaining social distancing, hygiene and good behaviour when using school transport.  It is very important that children board and alight any school transport calmly and safely and remain seated at all times.  

Any instruction from the bus driver or an escort (where provided) should be followed. Any poor behaviour will not be tolerated and any child who puts another occupant at risk may lose their entitlement to free transport.

General School Transport FAQs

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.

No. Bus passes will be sent to all secondary schools and can be collected from the school reception during the first week of term.

However, your child must not attempt to travel on a school bus unless they are entitled to do so.  Any pupil attempting to board a school transport vehicle unless they are eligible to do so, may face disciplinary action.

Bus passes will be sent to all secondary schools and can be collected from the school reception during the first week of term.

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. However, some smaller vehicles eg taxis, may arrange to pick up your child at your home address. 

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.

In the event of this pass being lost, stolen or damaged you will need to contact the school reception, who will give you further advice on what to do. There may be a charge for a replacement bus pass, so it is very important the pass is kept safe and secure.


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.


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 email giving the courses, college you wish to attend, your name, contact details and date of birth.

Pupil behaviour

During the pandemic the local authority is operating a zero tolerance approach to poor behaviour on dedicated local authority provided home-to-school transport.

Parents/carers and pupils should familiarise themselves with 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 eligible to travel may do so.  Any pupil attempting to board a school transport vehicle unless they are eligible to do so, may face disciplinary action.

In the event of this pass being lost, stolen or damaged, you will need to contact the school reception, who will give you further advice on what to do. There may be a charge for a replacement bus pass, so it is very important the pass is kept safe and secure.



There may be a charge for a replacement bus pass, so it is very important the pass is kept safe and secure.

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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