Changes made to some Borders bus services to accommodate pupils
Scottish Borders Council has confirmed the school transport arrangements that will be in place from Tuesday (August 11) to support the return of young people to school.
In accordance with Scottish Government guidance there will be no requirement for pupils to social distance or wear face coverings on dedicated school transport.
Significant enhanced cleaning of vehicles will be in place and pupils will be required to use hand sanitiser when they board.
To maximise capacity for pupils some services which would normally be available for public use and have large numbers of school pupils will be de-registered or made closed school contracts.
These services will not therefore be available for fare-paying passengers. Full details of these routes can be found online via the public transport webpage at www.scotborders.gov.uk/coronavirus.
Where larger volumes of fare-paying passengers have used bus services alongside pupils the council has taken steps to move pupils on to other school routes or provide a parallel school-only service.
In a small number of cases the number of pupils travelling on a public service is low and can be managed alongside continued public use. Where this is the case these services will remain unchanged.
Only on these routes will pupils be required to follow the relevant legislation around public transport which include social distancing and wearing a face covering. Parents and pupils can find details of these routes via www.scotborders.gov.uk/schoolreopening.
On these routes pupils will be seated within a dedicated section of the vehicle with fellow pupils to maximise capacity for public use. This is in line with the Scottish Government guidance.
Tracey Logan, Chief Executive of Scottish Borders Council, said: “It is important to emphasise that while many of the services being closed off to the public may have theoretically been open for public use, the uptake has historically been extremely low, and in some cases unused entirely.
“In all instances however, if any member of the public who would normally use the services still need to travel and there is no alternative public transport the council will provide assistance.
“Anyone in this situation should contact our Passenger Transport team on [email protected] or call 0300 100 1800.
“Throughout the rest of this week we will be providing regular updates and information for parents, carers and pupils on all aspects of the return to school, all of which can be accessed online at www.scotborders.gov.uk/schoolreopening.”