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Combined Authority calls for long-term government funding to ensure West Yorkshire school transport can safely return in September

15 July 2020

West Yorkshire Combined Authority continues to call for a long-term funding solution to support public transport as schools look to reopen in September.

During the COVID-19 crisis the Combined Authority has been paying £3 million per month for journeys that are not happening, which is creating significant financial pressure and is unsustainable in the long-term.

While current government guidelines state that no social distancing will be needed on dedicated school buses, pupils who use regular bus services will need to maintain social distancing. However, without a long-term funding solution from government, the ability to provide additional bus services for schools returning in September may be under threat.

The Combined Authority has extended the deadline for applications for school bus passes until 31 July 2020 and will communicate arrangements directly with parents and schools for services that have a bus pass system. Further information about school buses can be found at www.wymetro.com/schools.

Cllr Kim Groves, Chair of West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Committee, said:

“In West Yorkshire, the Combined Authority is working closely with schools and our Councils to arrange the transport necessary to make the return to school safe and successful for pupils across the region.

“However, to ensure safe social distancing we will need to commission extra buses and we are in discussions with Government on the costs of this.

“We continue to work with bus operators and others to make sure the transport network is as resilient as possible. We are seeking a long-term funding solution with the Department for Transport to ensure we can maximise capacity on the network while maintaining social distancing.”

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