There are many different ways of travelling to school from walking and cycling to using public transport or a car. If you live close enough, you could to walk or cycle to school.
Walking is really good for you. It keeps you healthy, reduces congestion and helps the environment by not polluting the air. It is also good fun as it is something you can do with your friends and you also get to see more of the area in which you live.
Why not plan your walking journey from home to school just log on to www.walkit.com and enter where you are going from and to and it will plan a route for you. It will show you a map of the route, tell you how long it will take to get there, show you the calories burned, distance travelled and the Carbon Dioxide you have saved.
Travelling by bike is also an option, it's cheap, environmentally friendly, healthy and you don't get stuck in traffic jams. Plan your cycling journey from home to school, just log on to www.transportdirect.info click on find a cycle route and enter where you are going from and to and it will plan a route for you. It will show you a map of the route, tell you how long it will take for you to get there and the carbon dioxide saved.
Do you want to use public transport to get to school, town or to visit friends? It's fun as you can travel with your friends, become independent and reduce congestion and help the environment at the same time.
Public transport journeys require some preparation so do a bit of research before you go. To find out which bus, train or tram you will need to use why not log on to www.networkwestmidlands.com and click on journey planner. You can then enter where you want to travel from and to and it will work out a journey plan for you. It will show you the route and also show how long it will take you to get there and give you a choice of journeys. For the easiest journey look for those that have 0 changes. For help with using the online journey planner please view the journey planner leaflet:
If you know which bus, train or tram you need to take but are unsure of the timetable log on to www.networkwestmidlands.com and click on timetables.
Information is also available at Network Travel Information Centres which are in the following locations.
- Birmingham New Street Station
- Coventry Pool Meadow Bus Station
- Dudley Merry Hill Centre
- Wolverhampton Bus Station
- Walsall Bus Station
Using the bus
Buses stop at bus stops and shelters which are shown by a bus stop flag on a post on the pavement or markings on the road. Each bus stop/shelter flag has the name and location of the stop and also shows which direction buses travel in as well as the bus numbers that stop there.
When you see your bus approaching the stop, hold out your arm to show the driver that you wish the bus to stop. The bus number and destination are displayed on the front of the bus. When you want to get off the bus press the bell on the handrail or ceiling to alert the driver that you wish to get off at the next stop.
How to behave at the bus stop and on the bus
- Stand well back from the road
- Avoid playing and pushing others around at the bus stop
- If you wish the bus driver to stop you can signal by holding out your arm
- Be polite to the bus driver
- Behave well on the bus by not being noisy or disturbing other passengers
- Never smoke, drop litter or chewing gum on the bus
- If standing, please hold on to the rail to help keep your balance
- Consider adults standing and be ready to give up your seat
- Always wait for the bus to stop moving before getting off
- Remember to take your belongings with you when you leave the bus
- Do not cross the road behind or in front of the bus as you may not be able to see traffic
- Never use emergency exits unless it is a real emergency
Using the train
Trains stop at all advertised stations on the route of their journey. When the train stops you need to press the 'open' button at the side of the exit door. This will enable you to open the door and get off the train.
Many local train stations have cycle stands to park your bike. Visit the 'train' section of the www.networkwestmidlands.com website for more information and to find your closest rail station.
How to behave at the train station and on the train
- Queue sensibly to get on or off the train
- Don't push or rush towards the train/tram when it arrives
- Never use emergency exits unless it is a real emergency
- Do not smoke, or drop litter or chewing gum on the train/tram
- When waiting for a train wait sensibly away from the platform edge and overhead cables
- Be careful of gaps when stepping off the train.
Catching a tram
The Metro tram operates between Wolverhampton St Georges and Birmingham Snow Hill every 8 minutes in the daytime and every 12 minutes after 7pm.
The Metro calls at all stops on the line, so you do not need to tell the person working on the tram when you want to get on or off.
Metro trams are easy to use for disabled people as well as for parents with pushchairs.
Bicycles are not allowed on board the Metro apart from fold down cycles kept in their carrier. However all Metro stops have cycle parking facilities available.
You are not allowed to smoke, eat or drink on the Metro.
To find your nearest Metro stop visit the Metro section of the Network West Midlands website.
The Safer Travel Partnership is made up of Centro, West Midlands Police, British Transport Police, Local Transport Operators and Community Safety Partnerships. The aim is to tackle crime and anti social behaviour on Bus, Rail and Metro.
Whilst the public transport network is already very safe the Safer Travel Partnership is committed to making it even safer. To achieve this intelligence is used to identify areas of the public transport network that may be vulnerable to crime and nuisance behaviour. Work is then carried out through a variety of methods, including reassurance and enforcement patrols, work with schools and colleges, engagement with the community, work with local partner agencies and covert operations using the latest technology.
Safety and security tips
- Keep valuables like mobile phones, cash and jewellery out of sight
- Keep keys separate from anything with your address on it. If you are travelling, thieves may assume your house is empty
- Check your bus route and destination before you set off
- Pickpockets love crowds so keep bags to the front closed with the fastening towards the body, be particularly careful with rucksacks
- Register valuable mobile equipment like mobile phones, MP3 players, Ipods and laptops on the national database www.immobilise.com. Then, if they are lost or stolen and then later recovered, registering on the database will help the police to reunite you with your property
- Switch your mobile phone from ring to vibrate in public places and be discreet when using it.
How can you help?
If you travel on the bus or Metro you can assist the Safer Travel Partnership by reporting the following types of behaviour to our see something, say something text line 83010.
This may include loud music, feet on seats, bullying, throwing missiles, littering, shouting, swearing, offensive language or anything else you feel is preventing you from having a peaceful and enjoyable journey.
Remember in an emergency always dial 999. Just Text bus or metro to 83010 and leave a space then complete the details with time, date, location and route number, alternatively visit the safertravel.info website.