Expert perspectives on the role of the bus in school travel

Millions of children travel to and from school each day as part of their daily routine, contributing to increased congestion and traffic on the roads. This paper examines the role of the bus within school travel and reports the views of current professionals in the school travel industry gained from interviews with school travel experts in the UK. The findings suggest that parents, schools, local authorities and bus operators are the key stakeholders, while the children are relatively minor players despite being the main users of the system. The key issues facing the sector concern costs to government and users, institutional and political factors, and social issues around the behaviour of children on buses. The interviewees all see a prominent place for buses in school travel, both now and in the future.