Transport for London has announced that extra buses will run on many routes from 1st September (until the end of October) to cater for travel by school pupils, whilst still enabling social distancing on-board for other passengers using regular services.
Specially designated buses will be operated in the morning peak (07.30 til 09.30), and will have yellow “School Service” signs in the windscreen. Note that these buses might be in a different livery than usual or may use single-decker buses. Moreover these extra buses might not appear on departure information screens at bus stops and on travel apps.
On these special services it will permitted for all seats to be occupied, so other travellers should avoid using these buses and instead wait for a regular service, where the existing social distancing arrangements will still apply.
Regular services will have red “Non-school service” signs in the windscreen.
School pupils travelling without adults should use the special “School Service” buses rather than crowd onto regular services.
In the Shirley area additional “School Service” journeys will be operated on routes 194, 198 and 466 in the mornings. Meanwhile on routes 119, 130, 356, and 367 overall frequency of the morning service will be increased, but some journeys will be designated as a “School Service”. This means that other passengers may have longer to wait for a non-school bus.
Routes 130 and 367 will also have additional buses in the afternoon school peak (14.30 til 16.30). The existing 689 school bus service to Orchard Park High School (formerly Edenham High School) will have additional buses in both morning and afternoon.
Non-school passengers are asked to avoid travel at school times if possible; those who absolutely need to travel at those times are recommended to allow extra time for their journey.
There is of course the possibility that some pupils who used to travel to school by bus will instead be taken by car, which would increase traffic and delay bus services. However it is hoped that as many pupils as possible will use the extra bus services being provided (at tax-payers expense) or walk or cycle to school, in order to minimise that problem.