A scheme providing hundreds of extra bus seats for pupils and commuters is to be extended until Christmas.

Bus seats. Picture: Mark Hillary

Staffordshire County Council said an additional 147 places were also being added to the 1,160 temporary seats in place on routes across the county.

The increased capacity was introduced for services where social distancing restrictions would mean the passenger numbers would exceed demand.

Cllr Jonathan Price, Staffordshire County Council’s cabinet member for education said:

“Around 1,500 of the 8,000 pupils entitled to free home to school transport use public service routes rather than dedicated school buses.

“There is a limited number of spare buses and drivers available at peak time, so we’re duplicating services on some of the busiest public routes to make sure there is enough space for pupils and commuters to get where they need to go.

“This has proved to be an essential service in the current circumstances and we’re determined to keep working with schools and transport operators.”

Cllr Jonathan Price, Staffordshire County Council

The scheme is seeing duplicate services introduced on a number of routes.

“As well as ensuring the council is meeting its legal duty to ensure children entitled to free transport can get to school, these 1,300 temporary seats will free up the busiest commercial routes for commuters.

“We’ve also introduced larger vehicles on some routes and transferred pupils entitled to free transport to duplicate services or to rerouted school buses and these temporary changes also create extra space on commercial services for fare-paying passengers.”

Cllr Jonathan Price, Staffordshire County Council


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