Adjustments to school bus travel
In September 2006 the former Education Minister, Maria Eagle, announced an additional £37million investment to make the school bus journey safer and more comfortable for local school pupils.
The funding was used to introduce enhanced safety measures on dedicated school bus services across Northern Ireland.
The first of the new safety measures to be introduced was the abolition of '3 for 2' (the practice of three children sharing a two person seat) on dedicated school buses. This took effect from the start of the 2007/08 academic year.
To improve the safety and comfort of pupils travelling to and from school, school bus providers are no longer able to routinely use the ‘3 for 2’ seating concession on their buses . In addition, standing on school buses came to an end from September 2009.
It is recognised, however, that there may be circumstances where it will be preferable to allow children to sit ‘3 for 2’ or stand on a bus rather than leave them behind, particularly where their personal safety may be at risk.
Guidelines have been produced to avoid any misunderstandings as to when children may stand or sit ‘3 for 2’ on designated school bus services