School transport options including spare seat scheme

1. School transport options

Paying for home to school transport

If your child is not eligible for free council-provided school transport, you should first check to find out if there is a suitable public transport service between home and school that they can use.

If there is no suitable public transport service, you may be able to pay for a seat on a school bus service.

Applying to buy a seat works in one of two ways, depending on the route your child needs to use.

  1. Some routes are run on behalf of the Council to provide transport for eligible children. If there are spare seats on these services, they are made available to paying parents under the Council’s Spare Seat Scheme.
  2. Other school routes are operated independently by commercial coach companies, and in this case parents should contact the coach company that operates the route to purchase a seat, subject to availability, and for any further information.

Public transport

You can get season tickets and child discounts from most bus and train operators or see the Citizencard information. See our local bus timetable page or plan a journey on Traveline. Taxi operators may also offer discounts for regular journeys.


Ask your school if they have a travel plan in place – this can include walking and cycling routes. See our cycle training information.


If you use a childminder they may be able take your child to school, or pick them up. If they’re close to school they may walk or drive your child there.

Parent and community schemes

Your school PTA may help you to see if there is interest in contracting your own transport through a local operator. ‘Walking buses’ that use parents as volunteers to pick up children, walk them to school and take them home may work for some groups of parents.

Car share

Setting up a lift scheme for parents to car-share may be an option, or consider using a car share app like Liftshare.


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Last updated: 28 May 2021

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