Guidance on school bus safety as pupils return after lockdown has been issued by Stagecoach West.
The firm provides school and college bus services in Swindon and elsewhere in Wiltshire as well as Gloucestershire and Bristol.
The Government has allocated more than £40m to local authorities to provide dedicated transport for schools and colleges in England.
Stagecoach has worked in partnership with local authorities across the country to introduce additional dedicated school bus services.
Managing director Rupert Cox said: “We want to make sure that as pupils return to school and college and more people start to get to work, they can be confident about their journey with us.
“We’ve worked closely with local authorities to put a number of additional measures in place including dedicated school bus services and extra buses on busy routes to ensure we can separate school children and public bus services wherever it’s possible to do so.
“We’re continuing with our extensive daily cleaning of all buses and coaches and with everybody playing their part and following the rules on wearing face coverings and hygiene, local residents can continue to travel to work, school and college by bus safely and confidently.”
Many special school bus services will run together with normal planned public bus services, although special school bus services will be clearly marked as school services on the destination screen.
These services can only be used by school children, and as they are reserved for students only, government advice is that all seats are available for use and face coverings are recommended for all children over 11 unless they are exempt.
Customers not travelling for school, college or work are advised to avoid school and peak travel times. All customers are encouraged to use contactless payment wherever possible or buy tickets online through the Stagecoach app.
Stagecoach has put a range of measures in place to help everybody feel safe and confident in using its services.
All bus, tram and coach services have been accredited with Visit Britain’s “We’re Good to Go” official mark, recognising the work carried out to meet government and industry Covid-19 guidelines and the processes in place to maintain cleanliness and aid social distancing.
The regime includes daily cleans and contactless payments, in addition to the government's mandatory use of face coverings.
Full information on dedicated school services can be found at https://www.stagecoachbus.com/promos-and-offers/west/school-buses
All public bus services will continue to observe social distancing guidelines and, in line with government advice, face coverings must be worn by everybody over 11 years old, unless exemptions apply.
People are advised to visit www.stagecoach.com for details of exemptions and of how to apply for a Journey Assistance Card.