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Guide: Primary school transport

Route safety

Walking to school

If you live under the statutory walking distance but feel the route to school is too dangerous to walk please call 0345 155 1019 and ask to speak to the transport officer for your child’s school. The route may already have been checked and deemed to be “unavailable” and there may be transport in place. If not, the transport officer will send you a form to outline your concerns and a route walk will be organised at the same time as your child would walk to school. You will be contacted with the results of the route walk. However, it is important to understand that in a rural county such as Devon there are many lanes where there are no pavements or street lights, but this does not necessarily mean the road is unsafe to walk. These factors will be taken into consideration as will the width of the road, the volume of traffic, the number of accidents recorded and poor visibility.

It is a parent’s responsibility to accompany their child to and from school and therefore the assessment will be made as if the child is accompanied on the journey. This responsibility also applies if your child has to walk in the dark.

Please note that the following are not taken into account during a route safety walk:

  • the parent’s individual circumstances, for instance personal availability to walk with the child or that it may be necessary to walk with younger children or pram
  • parental finances
  • local weather conditions
  • unusual events – such as, road closures, construction work, flooding
  • lack of street lighting – the majority of roads in Devon do not have streetlights and lighting is not an issue all year round
  • lack of pavements – the lack of a paved footpath is not necessarily a reason to assess a route as unsuitable
  • the presence of uncut hedges
  • difficult terrain and arduousness of the route
  • practicality or the time taken to walk the route

On the vehicle

We want everyone to stay safe and travel in comfort. Our code of conduct outlines the standard of behaviour that is expected as well as what to do in bad weather and if the transport provision is late.

If you become aware that there is bad behaviour or bullying on your child’s vehicle please report the matter to the Transport team by ringing 0345 155 1019. They will ask the contractor and school to investigate. The contractor will speak to the driver and the school should interview the pupils involved and also any witnesses. They will then report back to the Transport team who will take the appropriate action. This can be a warning letter home to parents, a one or two week ban, or with serious or repeated incidents an indefinite ban can be imposed. If a child is banned from school transport it is the parent’s responsibility to make arrangements to get him/her to school.