New parking fees and charges

Please note that we have increased our parking fees and charges around the borough. For details on the changes, please visit the fees and charges page.

Frequently asked questions

General FAQs

Home to school transport bookings FAQs

Equipment

 

How do I make a booking?

You can book online or download a booking form. Complete the form with as much information as possible and click submit or email to tsu@towerhamlets.gov.uk or fax to us on 020 7364 1070. We will then calculate a cost and check availability and advise you.

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How much will it cost?

The cost of transport is based on a number of factors, the number of hours you require, the size of the vehicle and availability. Please see booking transport for further information.

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What information do I need to make a booking?

The number of people who wish to travel, the location and times of pick up points and destination and how long you require the vehicle for. You must advise us of the number of wheelchair users and whether they are able to transfer to a normal seat.

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Have your buses got seatbelts?

All our buses have seatbelts which must be used when the vehicle is moving.

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Can I book more than one bus?

Yes, dependent on availability.

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Do you provide baby seats, booster seats etc?

Dependent on availability we may be able to provide a limited number of booster seats. However, children should travel in a seat appropriate for their age, height and weight. Children may not sit on or between another person's lap or seat.

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Will the vehicle stay at the destination?

It may be necessary for the vehicle to leave the drop off point and return at the requested pick up time. This may be to undertake another journey or to park safely and legally.

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Do I have to pay a deposit?

No deposit is required, the cost will be charged to you after the journey is completed.

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Will I be charged if I cancel the booking?

There may be a charge for late cancellation or no show. Please see the terms and conditions of hire for further information.

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Do I pay the driver?

No, all payments should be made upon receipt of a valid invoice from the London Borough of Tower Hamlets.

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Are animals allowed on vehicles?

The carriage of animals (with the exception of assistance dogs) is strictly prohibited.

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Can we change the destination once we have booked?

You may change the destination after the booking has been arranged and before the day of departure as long as reasonable notice is given. There may be an extra charge dependent on the change made.

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Can we change the destination when we are on route?

No, unless agreed direct by the Transport office. Please do not ask the driver to change the destination.

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Can we stay longer at our destination?

It is not always possible to allow extra time at the destination as the driver and vehicle may be required for other duties or not have enough “driving hours” to complete the journey legally. You should take advice from the TSU of this possibility at the time of booking.

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Can we eat, drink, smoke on the vehicles?

We do not allow eating or drinking and smoking is strictly prohibited on our vehicles.

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What vehicles do you have?

We operate a range of vehicles from 16 seat minibuses to 35 seater coaches with luggage carrying  capacity.

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Do your vehicles have wheelchair access?

A large percentage of our vehicles have wheelchair access.

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Are your staff trained and qualified?

All TSU staff undertake a rolling programme of training designed to meet the needs and special requirements of users. Please inform us of any special requirements your group may have at the time of booking.

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Do the staff carry ID and are they uniformed?

All staff carry photographic ID, are uniformed and are CRB police checked.

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Can I hire a bus without a driver?

No, unless you are from an internal service or department of the council.

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Home to school transport bookings FAQs

 

Who is entitled to school transport?

As a transport provider the TSU is unable to authorise requests from parents or carers for school transport. You will need to contact the appropriate Children's services department.

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Who arranges the transport?

The TSU provides transport for users when instructed to do so by the Children Services department.

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Will a Passenger Assistant be provided?

Assistants are provided for children and vulnerable adults dependent on their needs.

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How long should the journey take?

Every effort is made to keep the journey times to a minimum. However, sometimes the distances travelled to schools and centres and traffic conditions out of our control mean that service users may have longer journeys.
View our service standards.

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What happens on the first day?

Prior to your child starting the TSU will have notified you of an approximate pick up time. You should have your child ready slightly before this time. You should ensure that the PA is fully aware of your child's medical condition, any behavioural issues and how best to deal with problems.
Any complex instructions should be given in writing to the transport office and used to inform staff accordingly.

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What time will my child be picked up?

You should ensure that your child is ready, or at the pick up point, before the notified time, as staff are instructed not to wait for more than three minutes beyond the stated pick up time. If the vehicle has to leave without a child, transport to school becomes a parental responsibility.
If your child's transport does not arrive, you should contact the TSU.

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Can I alter my child's pick up/return times?

It maybe possible to alter times, in certain circumstances and each individual request will be looked at separately to allow an informed decision to be made as to whether it is possible.

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Where will my child be picked up?

You will need to take your child to the pick-up point. Parents are responsible for the child’s safety between home and the pick-up point.
If your child is collected from the home it is the parents' responsibility to take the child to the vehicle.  PAs are instructed not to leave children unattended on vehicles.

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Are there alternative pick up points?

If your child needs to be collected from, or returned to, an alternative address, this request should be made in writing to the TSU giving maximum notice.

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What if I can't meet my child?

You should give written notification giving the details of the responsible adult who will be collecting your child.

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What do I do if my child is absent from school?

Contact the Transport Services Unit to advise when your child will be absent. Contact details can be found at the bottom of this page.

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What do I do if my child is going back to school?

Contact the Transport Services Unit to advise when your child will be returning. Contact details can be found at the bottom of this page.

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Who do I notify if I move?

A change of address should be notified to the Transport Services Unit and the school attending.

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Equipment

Additional equipment and baggage will only be carried if there is room and it can be safely stored and secured. If your child has a lot of bags/equipment please do not expect the PA to carry it all.

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The transport has not turned up, what should I do?

Contact the Transport Services Unit for assistance. Contact details can be found at the bottom of this page.

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My child becomes unsettled when on transport, what can be done about this?

Please contact the Transport Services Unit who can listen to your concerns and possibly look at ways of making your child's journey less stressful.

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What happens in the event of an breakdown?

The driver will contact the TSU who will send out a replacement vehicle if necessary and contact the school informing them of the situation.

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What happens in the event of an accident?

In the event of an accident the safety and welfare of children will be assessed, the emergency services will be contacted if required, and the Transport Services Unit will send out a replacement vehicle if necessary and contact the school and parents informing them of the situation.

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My child has left something on the transport, how can I retrieve it?

Contact the Transport Services Unit as soon as possible to allow us to check the vehicle before it is used again. If found we may return the items to the school or yourself the following day dependent on schedules.

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Can other family members travel with the authorised service user?

For more information please contact Special Educational Needs (SEN).

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Eating and drinking on transport

Eating and drinking is not allowed unless your child has a medical condition which means that they must eat regularly.

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Do the staff carry ID and are they uniformed?

All staff carry photographic ID, are uniformed and CRB police checked.

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Are your staff trained and qualified?

All TSU staff undertake a rolling programme of training designed to meet the needs and special requirements of users.

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Are drivers DBS Police checked?

All passenger drivers, including agency drivers working for the Transport Services Unit have DBS clearance.

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What is the procedure during adverse weather conditions?

Should a school close part-way through the day it is the school's responsibility to contact all parents to arrange the early return of school pupils. The Transport Services Unit will then run their normal service early for all pupils whose parents/guardians are there to greet them. For pupils whose parents cannot be contacted, arrangements will be made to keep them at school.

Other than this, drivers will be expected to use their discretion as to whether a road is passable or not. Parents, Guardians and teachers can help operators by advising them of adverse weather conditions in their locality.

Drivers may choose to abandon a journey if driving conditions are deteriorating. In these circumstances, the children will be returned home. If the driver takes the decision to cancel the journey to school then they will have no responsibility for conveying the child home should the child access the school by some other means.

Map for Transport Services Unit.