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Information for parents

Stay safe, stay apart. Check before you travel.

As lockdown eases across the country, it is important to remember that there are still restrictions in place when using public transport.

Parents and children should prepare for a different journey when travelling around over the summer.

Cycling, Scooting and Walking

During lockdown, people have been cycling more for leisure and in some places, there has been a 70% rise in the number of people using bicycles for exercise or travel.

If you live near your child’s school, now may be a good time to consider cycling, scooting or walking to and from school every day.

Over the coming months, lots of road layouts across the region will be changing with some temporary cycle routes being set up by local authorities. It is important to check your journey to school if you are going to cycle and look at quieter routes away from fast traffic visit Cycle Streets.

Local bike shops are now reopening and many offer a service to check your child’s bike or scooter to make sure everything is working properly. To find out more view local bike facilities.

Many schools have cycle storage and scooter hubs on-site for students. Speak to your child’s teacher if you are unsure where cycle and scooter parking is located.

If you live close to your child’s school, walking can also be a good option. Children get to stay in the open air and feel refreshed and ready to start a day at school.

If you want to plan your route to your child’s school on foot you can use Google Maps.

Public Transport

Social distancing means that capacity on public transport is limited and you should only be using it when there is no other travel option available.

We have created a series of videos to show you how things have changed:

Safer Travel, what does a bus journey look like now?

Safer Travel, what does a metro journey look like now?

West Midlands Trains, getting through our stations.

When making journeys on public transport follow these guidelines:

  • When waiting at stops or stations always stay two metres apart from other passengers and don’t sit next to someone in a shelter. Leave at least a one-seat gap between you and other passengers.
  • Face coverings must be worn for the full duration of journeys on public transport – you can make one quite easily or use a scarf to cover your nose and mouth.
  • Children under 11 do not have to wear a face-covering
  • Do not crowd at the doors when getting on board.
  • Where applicable, use mobile, smartcard or contactless payments to reduce the amount of cash needing to be handled.
  • Use a travel card such as a term pass or Swift ticket
  • Stay a safe distance from drivers and conductors and don’t sit on the seats behind them.
  • You can sit together if you’re travelling with people from your own family or household.
  • Limit the surfaces you all touch while on board and do not touch your face until you can wash or sanitise your hands.
  • If you do cough or sneeze, please catch it in a tissue or the crook of your arm and use hand sanitizer straight away. Dispose of the tissue as soon as possible.
  • When leaving the service leave a two-metre gap between you and the person in front.
  • Remind your child to wash their hands as soon as they get home or to their destination.
  • Allow extra time to travel in case you need to wait a bit longer to get on the bus, train or tram.
  • Plan your journey and check when your services are running at wmnetwork.co.uk

We want public transport to continue to be safe and reliable and get you to where you need to go safely and easily.

Please be reassured that cleaning regimes have been enhanced on all buses, trains and trams.  All shelters and stops are being cleaned on a regular basis with a standby cleaning team able to attend if needed. Cleaning regimes in bus, tram and rail stations have also been increased and our travel and ticket shops will be deep cleaned twice a day.

There are certain medical and physical conditions that allow you not to wear a face covering. Please view face covering guidance for more information. On this page, you will also find out how to apply for an exemption card or badge.

Save money and get involved

As a parent you want your child to arrive at school safely and on time, but taking the car isn't always the best option.

Congestion at school gates is a common problem which causes potential danger for pedestrians. By encouraging your child to travel sustainably, you can help them to live an active and independent life as well as helping the environment.

Ticket options

We have a wide range of ticket options, with cheaper fares available for children and students.

As young people get older, we can help them prove their eligibility with a 16-18 photocard.

Find out more information on child and student tickets and passes.

Planning a journey

Helping your child plan their journey will teach them valuable skills and give them the confidence to travel independently. There are lots of ways for young people to find the services, timetables or fare information they need before they travel.

Plan a journey using our journey planner tool.

Staying safe

Often the journey to secondary school will be the first time a child travels on their own.

As well as knowing where to go and what time to leave, it's important your child knows how to keep themselves safe.

A few precautions can help to ensure their journey is safe and comfortable.

Here are some top tips to share with your child to help them stay safe:

  • Be aware of your surroundings
  • Keep valuables out of sight
  • Keep keys separate from anything with your address on
  • Keep bags closed at all times
  • Switch your mobile from ring to vibrate in public places and use it discreetly
  • Always wait in busy and well-lit places
  • If possible avoid sitting upstairs on buses and sit near the driver
  • On trains, sit in a busy carriage and close to the train colleagues. There are emergency alarms on board – don't be afraid to use them in an emergency. They are there for your safety

If you see any nuisance or anti-social behaviour during your bus, train or tram journey, say something. 

Text "Bus", "Metro" or "Rail", leave a space and tell us the details with time, date, location and route number to 83010.

For more information please go to http://safertravel.info  

 

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