News and Updates on home to school transport
Notice for New Home to School Transport Applications
As a result of the size and complexity of the Home to School Transport operation in Birmingham, any new applications received now are unlikely to result in awarded transport being secured before the start of the Autumn term, September 2021.
Parents’/Carers’ Transport Guide
SEND Home to School Transport – July Newsletter
We write with further information on ‘Home to School’ transport to keep you up to date and let you know what you can expect from our service during the summer.
The government are signalling an end to all COVID restrictions at the moment. When term resumes in September we will be returning to pre-COVID travel arrangements, so there will no longer be bubble arrangements for home to school transport. This means that passenger numbers on each vehicle will be governed by journey times and pupil needs.
We will continue to carefully follow health and safety protocols, including increased cleaning regimes on vehicles and transport staff may choose to continue to wear face coverings (drivers are not required to wear them whilst driving). We ask that pupils wash their hands with soap and water, or hand sanitiser prior to boarding. In addition, if your child has any symptoms of COVID-19 or has been required to isolate, they must not travel.
Extra cover for routes
The Council’s contractors already build in contingency to cover staff sickness and vehicle breakdown. In addition, the Council is also securing a small amount of additional contingency transport capacity as requested by the Department for Education, to cover any additional transport which may be needed. In effect, from September, we are able to call on alternative providers to quickly cover for any problems, we minimise any disruption to families, passengers and schools.
Families will also be aware that the Clean Air Zone went live on 1st June. Families should be aware that September sees increased traffic volumes and this along with new routes people take outside the clean air zone may mean journey times take a few weeks to settle at the start of the year. This is quite normal and could be more so as some people return to offices for the first time. Generally these routes settle in the first few weeks of term and will ultimately lead to quicker journey times.
We (either the Council or the transport operator) will be in regular touch over the coming weeks to let you know:
- Your operator details
- Your guide details
- Your route details
- Your drop off and pick up times
- Details of your meet and greet session
We would be very grateful if you would wait for us to contact you rather than contacting us.
Please also let us know of any changes to your circumstances so that we can adjust your arrangements as necessary.
The Home to School transport operation is very complex and details of routes and services may change over the summer; however we will let you know about any changes as soon as they occur. Thank you in advance for your patience.
We are pleased to say that currently our transport is running 99.6% of all its routes on time, and we are determined to build on this improvement.
Parents and carers are also politely reminded that they need to bring their child to the agreed pick up point in the mornings.
SEND Home to School Transport Contract News
This update is to tell you the latest ‘Home to School’ transport news in readiness for the new term in September.
In addition to existing routes due to continue for a further two years, from September 2021, Birmingham City Council has awarded ‘Home to School’ transport contracts previously held exclusively by National Express Accessible Transport (NEAT) to be delivered going forward by both AFJ Travel Ltd and to National Express Accessible Transport.
We recognise that both the City Council and its chosen travel operators are on an improvement journey and we want to reassure you that we are working with all our suppliers to provide a much better service going forward. The Council has made huge investments in a new and very experienced transport team led by experts in their field.
We are pleased to say that currently our transport is running 99.4% of all its routes on time, and we are determined to build on this improvement.
We will be in touch with further details soon, and If you have any questions in the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Phone: 0121 303 4955
Clean Air Zone travel update