As schools re-start Stagecoach are doing all they can to get pupils get there safely. They are also making some changes to our bus services and times.
As well as increasing our cleaning measures and introducing social distancing on board buses, they’ve added extra dedicated school buses and drivers, which means they can keep more of you moving safely.
What you need to know about dedicated school buses:
Extra School Services
- Stagecoach have added dedicated services just for school pupils
- Please check the front of the bus which will indicate if it’s a school service..
- All seats are available for use on the dedicated school services. Find out more here.
- Stagecoach have enhanced onboard cleaning and are doing allthey can to make buses safe. Find out more in our travel with confidence video.
- They recommend that adults & children over the age of 11 years should wear a face covering on school dedicated services, unless exempt.
- Keep a safe distance when queuing at bus stops
- Use contactless payments or have exact fares, where possible
- If you’re not travelling for work or school please try to avoid school travel times
- Check their app for more information on the busiest bus times
At this difficult time Stagecoach’s priority is to protect the safety of children, passengers and colleagues. Below is an update with the latest advice and information about travelling by bus.
No change issued on buses
Stagecoach have been listening carefully to feedback on what extra steps they can take to help people feel safe onboard their buses. One of the measures they’ve taken is to minimise cash handling by not issuing change on the bus. They are continuing to accept cash on our buses, but drivers are unable to give change back. Any over-payments are donated to Demelza Hospice Care for Children. Some of you will have purchased a KCC Travel Saver pass, this can be scanned on the bus as usual. However some of you didn’t want to commit to a long-term ticket in such uncertain times.
Don’t worry, there are still lots of options for you.
- Pay with the exact change
- Buy a monthly ticket on the Stagecoach website
- If you have a mobile smartphone, you can download the stagecoach app and buy day or weekly tickets straight to your phone. Find out more here.
The government require all passengers using public transport aged 11 years or more, to wear a face-covering unless medically exempt. Our drivers will remind passengers of this requirement, but it is the responsibility of your child to comply. Our drivers will not refuse travel or apply any enforcement measures, but we appeal to students and parents to ensure that this is taken seriously and that a face-covering is worn at all times when on the bus.
Bus service levels
Every available bus will be out on the road when schools and colleges return. Stagecoach will be running all usual school day bus services. Their depot teams across the region will be working flat-out to get buses to where they are needed and they’ll continue to work closely with the County Council, and schools, to do everything we can to maximise capacity. They have a range of measures in place to ensure buses are clean, safe and ready to help get you to and from school from the start of term.
This year Stagecoach will be running some school day bus journeys as ‘dedicated schools services’. This means they will only be available for young people to board if travelling to and from their place of education. The general public will not be able to use them, and, in line with government instructions, these buses will be able to carry more people. Unlike normal service buses which now have a limited seating capacity, these dedicated schools services will allow the near maximum seated capacity of the bus.
All dedicated schools services will have a special destination display that shows ‘School Service’ at the front of the bus, alternating with the route number and destination. As these ‘dedicated schools services’ are for students only, morning journeys will only stop to pick-up students and drop them at school/college. On the way home in the afternoon the ‘dedicated schools service’ will collect students from school/college and then operate as drop-off only at all other stops. You can find a list of all the dedicated schools services in the area tabs below.
Regular service buses have government capacity restrictions. This means a double decker bus can only carry up to 32 people. Some regular bus journeys will be shadowed by another bus running behind. These buses will be operated by a different bus company contracted by Stagecoach and funded by the County Council. They will be there to provide back-up capacity, if needed. Stagecoach been working with the County Council to decide which journeys will be shadowed, based on which routes are usually busier. When students return they’ll be keeping a close eye on the busiest journeys so if necessary we can change the allocation of these shadow buses to suit demand.
Timetable details are published below, but may be subject to change. You can also use ‘Plan a journey‘ on the Stagecoach website. We’ve listed the schools area by area in the tabs below and you can view and download a PDF timetable showing indicative bus times that operated last year (most of which will remain the same from September). Please note that some of the times shown will be subject to adjustment – we will update these as soon as we are able to do so.
Download timetables for:
** DEDICATED SCHOOLS SERVICES** in Ashford are routes: 124, 15S, 18A, 515, 516, 517, 518, 519, 925, 921, 1A (Chartham to Spires morning journey only).
- Highworth Grammar School for Girls (updated from 1 September 2020)
- Hythe Road Schools (Norton Knatchbull/The North School) (updated from 1 September 2020)
- The Towers School (updated from 1 September 2020)