Spare seat scheme

Service update: Academic year 2024/25

There will only be one application window before the start of the academic year. Ensure you apply during this window for your child to be considered for a seat.

Spare seat prices will go up from September 2024.

If you would like your child to travel on a contracted school bus, spare seats may be available for you to buy. Your child must not be eligible for local authority funded transport help.

When to apply

You can apply online during the first application window. This will be open for two weeks between 9am on Monday 1 July 2024 and closes at 4pm on Friday 12 July 2024.

You can apply for any school bus service that has space but please be aware that there will be a limited number of seats available. A list of services will be available before the application window opens. 

View timetable and route information on bus services.

Making a spare seat application does not guarantee a seat.

Post-16 students

When 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. Sixth form students are expected to make their own transport arrangements for at least the first half term.

What happens after applying

After the application window closes the Transport team will start the allocation process.

Seats are allocated on a randomised basis in the following way.

  • All submitted applications are given a reference number. 
  • A random number generator (RNG) is used to allocate children to bus services. 
  • If there are more applications than there are seats, children will be added to a waiting list.

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 RNG at the same time. The RNG will then order those 50 reference numbers from one to 50. The order will be recorded against the application and the first 46 will be offered a spare seat. The remaining four applicants will go on a waiting list for that service, in the order the RNG has generated.

The above is just an example and may not represent the actual number of seats or service available.


We will aim to contact you using the email address on the application form by 26 July 2024.

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 when seats become available.

Ticket costs and payment

The cost of a ticket will increase from academic year 2024. This was agreed following a Cabinet decision made on 9th May 2024 following the recent School Transport Policy Consultation.

Ticket costs September 2024

Ticket typeWhole yearFull-termHalf-term
am and pm£570.00£190.00£95.00
am or pm only£285.00£95.00£47.50

These can be paid in half term payments, full term payments or a one-off payment for the whole year. You will need to make payment by the deadline which is two weeks from the date of the offer email.

Failure to pay by the deadline will result in your spare seat offer being removed. Your seat will then 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.

Should you have difficulty in making payment by the deadline ‘Contact School Transport’

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

Spare seat services you can apply for 

Should the service you require not be listed you cannot apply for that service at this time.

Bus serviceSeat availability
200No current seat availability but can apply to go on the waiting list