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UK & CONTINENTAL COACH TRAVEL

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Our Covid-19 safety measures on dedicated school bus services.

Ensuring we keep our customers safe on each and every journey.

Updated: 23rd October 2020

 

Marchants Coaches take the safety and wellbeing of our customers and employees extremely seriously, we are doing everything we possibly can to keep them safe and reduce the risks of catching Coronavirus (COVID-19) when travelling on our vehicles.

 

The transmission of Coronavirus (COVID-19) is primarily through people touching surfaces contaminated by the virus, and then transferring that contamination to their mouth, eyes or nose. There is also a possibility of breathing in droplets expelled by another person when in close face to face contact.

 

Whilst the risk of catching Coronavirus (COVID-19) is always present, we have taken advice from Public Health England (PHE), Department of Transport (DfT), Department of Education (DfE), Gloucestershire County Council (G.C.C.) and the schools we serve to produce the following guidance to minimise these risks.

 

 

The DfT, made the following statement on 2nd July 2020, regarding social distancing on school bus transport:

 

“We are making a distinction between dedicated school transport and wider public transport:

  • By dedicated school transport, we mean services that are used only to carry pupils to school. This includes statutory home to school transport, but may also include some existing or new commercial travel routes, where they carry school pupils only.
  • By public transport services, we mean routes which are also used by the general public.

 

Dedicated school transport, including statutory provision:

 

Pupils on dedicated school services do not mix with the general public on those journeys and tend to be consistent. This means that the advice for passengers on public transport to adopt a social distance of two metres from people outside their household or support bubble, or a ‘one metre plus’s approach where this is not possible, will not apply from the autumn term on dedicated transport.”

 

Based on the current guidance given by the DfT, social distancing will not apply to our dedicated school bus services to Denmark Road High School, Pates Grammar School, Sir Thomas Rich’s School and Winchcombe School.

 

Coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms:

 

  • Pupils with symptoms which include a high temperature, a new, continuous cough and a loss or change to their sense of smell or taste should not travel. Please follow the appropriate self-isolation guidelines issued by the NHS. Click Here for further information.

  • Employees with symptoms will not be allowed to come to work and must follow the same guidelines.

 

Cleaning:

 

  • Before departing the depot each vehicle will have undergone a thorough deep clean using bleach, disinfectant and other recommended cleaning materials.

  • Particular attention is given to high touch areas including, but not exclusively handrails, handles, seatbelts, arm rests and bell pushes.

  • During the course of the day our drivers and cleaning staff will continue to maintain hygiene standards by wiping these high touch areas with antibacterial wipes.

  • Vehicles undergo a fogging treatment weekly using Smartsan RTU Anti-Microbial Disinfectant a ready to use virucidal disinfectant designed for general disinfection of vehicle interiors and neutralising airborne viruses. For product details Click Here.

 

Before travelling:

 

Pupils must remember to bring their face covering for their journey as without one they will not be able to travel. A face covering can be very simple, like a scarf or bandana that ties behind the head to give a snug fit. It must cover the nose and mouth at all times. Further information can be found on the government’s website, please Click Here.

 

There are some circumstances where people may not be able to wear a face covering. Exemptions will apply to all children under 11 years old and with those with the following medical conditions:

 

  • Those suffering with breathing difficulties (Asthma) and other respiratory conditions.

  • Conditions affecting dexterity, meaning they are not able to put on a face-covering.

  • Mental health conditions such as anxiety or panic disorders.

  • Other non-visible disabilities such as autism.

  • Cognitive impairments, including dementia, who may not understand or remember the need to wear a face-covering.

  • Visual impairments, with a restricted field of vision, particularly if any residual vision is at the lower edge of the normal field of view.

  • Impairments which would make it difficult to put on or take off a face covering safely, accurately, consistently or without pain.

 

Pupils exempt from the wearing of a face covering are recommended to print and carry an exemption card or badge.This is a personal choice and is not a legal requirement. Please Click Here to download templates of badges and cards from the government website.

 

Whilst waiting at bus stops:

 

  • Stay safe – Pupils are advised to keep at least 1m plus apart from members of the public that maybe waiting to catch another bus service that also uses the same bus stop.

 

When boarding the vehicle:

 

  • A face covering must be worn when boarding the vehicle.

  • Pupils must show the driver a valid bus pass when boarding. To minimise contact do not hand the bus pass to the driver unless requested to do so.

  • Hand sanitiser containing a minimum 70% ABV is available on board every vehicle. Dispensers are located near to the front door when boarding and alighting.

  • All bags and luggage should be placed on the floor by the pupils feet or where fitted on vehicles in the overhead luggage lockers. Bags are not permitted on seats next to the pupils.

 

Seating arrangements:

 

Seats have been allocated for each child in their year bubbles to maintain consistency of the social distancing guidelines within the school. Pupils should find the seat that they have been allocated and remain in that seat for the entirety of the journey.

 

Please click on the links below to help locate your child's seat and to print a seating plan.

 

 

For operational reasons, occasionally a larger size vehicle maybe be used including the use of double decker buses on single deck routes. In this situation pupils should sit in the seat number they have been allocated which may be located on the upper deck of the vehicle. If assistance is required in locating the seat, please ask the driver for help.

 

During the journey:

 

  • Face coverings must be worn at all times.

  • Pupils must remain seated at all times in their allocated seats, please do not move seats.

  • Pupils are not to turn around to face passengers seated behind them, they must remain sitting face forward at all times.

  • Pupils must not eat and only drink water if absolutely necessary in hot weather.

  • Where possible please keep windows and skylights open to help with ventilation if the weather permits.

  • In very hot weather if air conditioning is required, the driver is required to switch this to fresh air circulation. This practice avoids circulating the air inside the coach.

  • On buses pupils should ring the bell to indicate to the driver their intention to get off.

  • Pupils should remain seated until the vehicle has stopped. Under no circumstances should they stand towards the front of the vehicle near the driver or in the aisle.

 

When alighting the vehicle:

 

  • A face covering must be worn when alighting the vehicle.

  • Pupils should ensure they have all their personal belongings.

  • Pupils are to remove all litter and dispose of it safely in a bin.

  • When alighting at school, students at the front should get off first and in an orderly manner.

 

Our promise to our customers:

 

  • Drivers are required to wear a face covering whilst driving with passengers on-board unless they are exempt due to medical conditions or from glasses steaming up when a face covering is worn.

  • All staff are encouraged to use hand sanitiser and practice good hand hygiene at all times.

  • We will ensure our cleaning policies are adhered to at all times.

  • Drivers will be patient and courteous at all times so that all pupils feel safe and relaxed with these new arrangements.

  • We will continue to update our travel guidance accordingly when new advice is released by the DfT, DfE, G.C.C. and the schools we serve. Updates will be emailed direct to parents/guardians and published on our website.

 

Contact us:

 

If you have any questions or require some assistance, please do not hesitate to contact a member of our Home to School Team: 

 

 

 

 

 

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