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Travelling to and from school

Contents 

  1. Overview
  2. Public transport
  3. Passes and free travel
  4. Bus
  5. Cycling
  6. Walking
  7. Online journey planning
  8. Parking
  9. School start times
  10. School maps
  11. Contacts

Overview

Getting young people back to school is a key priority of the Council and with social distancing guidelines, how they travel to and from education sites will be different.

The number of people who can get on public transport is limited and if too many people drive, then delays around the schools will increase and will affect the wider road network.

Parents, students and staff journey times will be affected when returning to school in September, so we need to help to encourage everyone to think about their travel options.

South Tyneside Council is keen to promote and encourage students, parents and teaching staff to use sustainable transport (walk, cycle or use public transport) as part of the school run journey, whenever it is safe and possible to do so.

The Council has developed this information to provide parents, students and teaching staff with a range of sustainable transport options (walking, cycling and public transport) in addition to information on reducing the impacts of private vehicles outside of schools.

Key points to remember when planning your school run:

  • Public transport is running but at a reduced capacity
  • Transport services may be busier so plan ahead and allow more time
  • If using public transport, try to use a contactless method of payment if possible
  • Keep a safe distance between yourself and others
  • Please wear a face covering if you are over 11 years old, unless exempt
  • Clean your hands before and after travelling
  • Consider cycling or walking if safe and possible to do so
  • If driving, try and drop off a few streets away from school

Public transport

If you are going to use the bus or metro to get to school, the following guidelines have been established to help everyone stay safe when on public transport:

  • Wash or sanitise your hands regularly
  • Let people get off the bus or metro before you try to get on
  • Keep your distance, where possible
  • Wear a face covering if you are over 11 and not exempt

If you take the bus, train, ferry or Metro, instead of getting a lift in the car, you're helping to make it safer around the school gates where parking is restricted.

Using public transport is great for the environment too. Fewer cars on the road means that there's less pollution and congestion. You can probably get to school more quickly too. 

Passes and free travel

Passes include the Nexus pop card and Nexus child season ticket. Some students may also be able to get free school travel.

Under 16's Nexus pop card

Students who are under 16 and living in Tyne and Wear can apply for an Under 16 pop card to get a discount on their public transport fare. See Nexus: Under 16s.

Child season ticket

You can pay for travel to school for the term, or school year, in advance - so you don't have to pay fares every day. See Nexus: Child season ticket.

Free school travel

If you live more than 3 miles from your school, some students may be entitled to free travel. It is the responsibility of the parent or guardian to check with South Tyneside Council on this.

Please call 0191 424 7755 to discuss this further.

Bus

Options include school bus services and commercial services. 

School bus services

For the 2020/21 academic year, Nexus will continue to provide school bus services throughout South Tyneside.

For information including timetables and schedules see Nexus: South Tyneside bus services.

Always try to pay the correct fare if using money. There is no guarantee change will be available on the day. 

Commercial bus services

You can get to many schools by commercial bus services (Stagecoach or Go North East) which operate throughout the times of the school run. 

To check whether you can travel to school on a commercial bus service, Nexus has developed the below options which can help with planning your journey:

  • Nexus Live Travel Map - simply enter your school's name, your home postcode and journey time to find your bus and Metro options. You can download the bus timetable poster for the bus stop nearby to the school, and get information
  • Or call Nexus Customer Services on 0191 202 0747 for all public transport advice and information

Always try to pay the correct fare if using money. There is no guarantee change will be available on the day.

Nexus school travel fact file

Nexus has produced a school travel fact file for 2020/21 which has school travel information. See Nexus: School travel fact file.

Cycling and scooting

Cycling to school is one of the easiest ways to get exercise into the daily routine. With the right equipment, cycling is suitable for most people of different ages and abilities.

It's a low-impact form of exercise, which means it helps you get fitter but is gentle on your joints. Exercising in the morning can help you feel happier and concentrate more.

To help with planning the school journey a cycle map is also available. This shows all of the recommended cycle routes in South Tyneside with many of these connecting into the schools.

To download a copy of the map, see:

If you would like to request a paper copy of the map please email the Strategic Transport Team at strategictransport@southtyneside.gov.uk.

When cycling to school, it is important that school children use the following safety measures:

  • Children must wear cycle helmets at all times
  • Always make sure that your child's bike has the correct lights, bell and reflectors on it, especially as it approaches the winter months
  • Hi-vis fluorescent, reflective vests or jackets should also be worn to make sure that the child is visible by traffic and pedestrians during both the day, and at night

To encourage more children to cycle to school, the Council undertakes Bikeability Training. This is a programme delivered by qualified instructors and designed to give young people the road skills required to make independent bike journeys.

A number of our schools have a range of cycle and scooter parking for visitors and staff.

If you have any  questions or queries about the cycle storage facilities at schools, please feel free to contact the school and a member of staff will be able to assist.

Walking

Walking is simple, free and one of the easiest ways to get more active and become healthier.

It's suitable for people of all ages and fitness levels.

There are usually nearby estates, shops and car parks close to the school so you can be dropped off and walk the rest of the way.

By walking to school, children gain road-sense and are able to learn about risk and therefore how to look after themselves and be safe. Walking to school is also sociable for children and helps them become more independent. It is a great way to start the day.

By encouraging walking, there will be fewer cars travelling to school, with the roads in the area becoming safer for everyone, especially around the school gates. This will result in fewer cars parking and causing concerns with local residents.

Did you know:

  • It takes around 20 minutes to walk a mile - 20 minutes of exercise each day can make you healthier
  • On average, it takes about 10 minutes to walk 1,000 steps
  • It's easy to fit walking into your daily routine, even if you live more than a mile from school

Why not try:

  • Getting off the bus one or two stops earlier than you need to?
  • Parking the car a little further away and continue on foot?

Online journey planning

Visit the Go Smarter Journey Planner which allows students, parents or visitors to plan journeys by foot, bicycle or public transport.

Parking 

We understand that some students may only be able to travel to school using a private car. In these cases, the Council encourages people to park away from the school in appropriate car parks and walk the rest of the way.

The 'Smarter Parker' initiative encourages parents to think carefully when parking near to the school, or even within the school car park, to help keep our children safe.

Parents can sometimes be tempted to park where they shouldn't when they're in a hurry, late for work, don't want their children to get wet in bad weather and because "it's only for a short amount of time".

By parking where you shouldn't, parents are potentially putting their own and other people's children at risk. To keep everyone safe, please don't:

  • park on the 'keep clear' road markings
  • park on yellow zig-zags or lines
  • double-park

There may be an enforcement camera car in the area to stop people from parking unsafely. Penalty charge notices may apply if you park irresponsibly and illegally.

Parking responsibly will help keep children safe and reduce congestion around the school gates and nearby properties.

School start times

Central Government have requested that educational establishments look at options to stagger the start / finish times to try to reduce the impact of all students entering / exiting the premises at the same time.

Individual schools will decide if they are going to stagger the start times, please contact the schools direct for further information.

School maps 

Check out our maps to help you plan your journey to school. See the school maps

Contacts

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