Safety concerns over ‘overcrowded’ school buses in Horsham district

Concerns are being raised over Covid-safety on school buses in the Horsham district.

Wednesday, 17th March 2021, 3:25 pm

Worried residents say that buses ferrying children to a number of schools in the area are ‘always overcrowded’ with children less than a foot apart.

They say that buses affected are those taking children to Tanbridge House School in Horsham The Weald in Billingshurst, and those taking children from Storrington to Steyning Grammar School.

And they say the buses are sometimes so crowded that some children are having to stand during their journeys.

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However, West Sussex County Council says a range of safety measures are in place on school buses, and that there is no requirement for social distancing on school transport.

A spokesman said:“Throughout the pandemic we have worked with our school transport providers closely to implement a range of safety measures on school buses and coaches, including running additional vehicles on busy routes where there are members of the public on board.

“Regular testing is available for drivers, who wear the appropriate face coverings, and secondary-age pupils are also asked to wear face coverings in line with government advice.

“National guidance throughout the pandemic continues to be that there is no requirement to apply social distancing on dedicated school transport. However, we do encourage pupils to sit in their bubbles/year groups and, where it is possible, have blocked out seating to keep space.

“No children should need to stand on a bus and we are looking into this with our operator.

“Regular COVID-19 testing is now available for school staff, secondary-age pupils, parents and carers.

“Together with the many protective measures in place in schools, this is further helping to stop the spread of the virus in our schools.”