School Transport

Privilege Seat Scheme

Service Update

As advertised in April this year, due to a new home to school bus contract starting in September 2020, the number of privilege seats on school bus services has been significantly reduced. This includes the reduction of seats on certain bus routes or the removal of some services.
Please ensure you review the services on our webpages to ensure you are applying for the correct bus service(s).


We are currently unsure if and how social distancing will continue from September 2020. Therefore, please be aware that the number of available seats may reduce depending on government guidance.

Privilege seats

Privilege seats may be available for parents/guardians to purchase if their child is not eligible for Local Authority funded transport assistance and would like for them to travel on a contracted school bus.

How to apply

Please make an online application during the first application window which will be open between 9am on Monday 3rd August 2020 and 12 noon on Friday 14th August 2020. The form can be accessed via the 'Do It Online' tab above and is called an ‘Application for a Privilege Seat on School Transport’.

You can apply for any school bus service that has spare capacity but please be aware that there will be a limited number of spare seats available. These services are listed at the bottom of this webpage. Timetable and route information on bus services can be accessed via the ‘School Bus Routes’ tab above. Please be aware that services are different from last academic year so please ensure you review the list and apply for the correct bus service.

Post-16 Students

Once the first application window opens we will not be accepting applications for post-16 students. There may be an opportunity to apply later in the year but only after the start of the academic year. We are unable to confirm the date at this stage therefore sixth form students are expected to make their own transport arrangements.

How the process works once an application is submitted and received

After the application window closes the Transport Team will start the allocation process. An automated, random-number generator (randomiser) will be used to allocate children to bus services. All submitted applications will have a reference number and will be grouped together by the service requested on the form. All reference numbers will be entered, once, into the randomiser and the order in which the randomiser places the reference numbers will be recorded against the application. We shall then allocate the number of seats available to those in the order which the randomiser has generated.

For example, there are 46 seats available on service 201 and we receive 50 applications for that service. All 50 applications will have a reference number and all 50 reference numbers will be placed into the randomiser at the same time. The randomiser will then randomly order those 50 reference numbers from 1 to 50. The order will be recorded against the application and the first 46 will be offered a privilege seat. The remaining 4 applicants will go on a waiting list for that service, in the order the randomiser has generated.

Please note: the above is just an example and may not represent the actual number of seats available.

Please be aware that making a privilege seat application does not guarantee a seat.

Contacting parents/guardians with the outcome

We shall endeavour to contact all parents/guardians who apply during the application window above via the email address on the application form between 20th and 24th August 2020.

If your child has been selected as having a seat, you will be sent details of how you can pay.

If your child has not been successful in securing a seat they will be placed on a waiting list for the service(s) applied for.

You will be notified that your child is on the waiting list(s) and you will then be contacted as and when seats become available.

Ticket costs and payment

The cost of a ticket from September 2020 is £390 for the full year or £195 per year for an AM or PM only ticket. This can be paid in half term instalments, termly payments or a one-off payment for the whole year.
If your child has been selected as having a seat you will need to make payment by the deadline which is 2 weeks from the date of the offer email.

If you have not made payment by the deadline it will be assumed that you do not want to take up the offer of a privilege seat and the seat will be offered to a child that may be on the waiting list. You would then need to reapply during a new application window should you want to take up a seat again. This means that you may not receive an additional offer and your child will be added to a waiting list.

The cost of a ticket is detailed below:

  • Up to a full term £130.00. 
  • Up to half term £65.00. 
  • Up to a full term AM or PM only £65.00. 
  • Up to half term AM or PM only £32.50.

This can be paid for in half-termly instalments, termly payments or a one-off payment for the whole year. Should you have difficulty in making payment by the deadline, please contact the Transport Team before the deadline. To contact us please use our online send a message to service form.

Please remember that if you have not made payment your child will not be permitted to travel. This will be strictly enforced.

Further information

Please view the FAQ section available via the 'FAQ' tab above for answers to frequently asked questions. Should you have a query which is not answered please contact the Transport Team using our online send a message to service form.

Privilege seat services you can apply for

We are working with the Department for Transport to determine if we can provide transport on all the services where spare seats will exist. We will provide updates as soon as we can, should we need to make any changes to our offer.

 Bus service