Private coaches for school trips

Private coaches for school trips

About this activity

Suitable for all nurseries and schools.

NB: We’re bringing together all the TfL education programmes, including STARS, under one exciting new umbrella programme called TfL Travel for Life. They will be the same great programmes, but with a new name and a new look, easier online process and dedicated support team. STARS for primary schools will be renamed TfL Explorers. STARS for secondary schools will be renamed TfL Pioneers.

The next time you use a private coach for a school trip, take steps with the coach operator and driver to support your TfL Travel for Life work. 

For example, you can:

  • Read and follow the advice found in the Selecting a coach operator document
  • Identify a safe, designated spot at or near the school where a coach can collect and return pupils and staff
  • Suggest your coach operator visits the coach drivers’ pages on the TfL website for advice on driving in London, coach parking locations and live traffic updates
  • Make sure a coach parking plan is in place. The driver should be able to confirm that the coach will be parked in a recognised coach facility or designated coach parking space while it waits for you and your pupils’ return
  • Encourage your coach operator and driver to ensure the coach’s engine is switched off whilst waiting to pick up pupils, this will also support an anti-idling campaign if you have one. (If the driver doesn’t turn their engine off when parked, make sure you feedback to the operator.)

How to evidence your activity

  • Record the feedback from your pupils, parents and staff. Take pictures outside the school of pupils and staff travelling by coach
  • Sign in to TfL Travel for Life to add your story. Explain the activity, include any risk assessments, photographs of designated pick up points at your schools and written communications with the coach operators

Activity steps

Find a safe spot
With your senior management agree on a safe designated place for coaches to park. Let the coach operator know where it is and tell them about your anti-idling policy
Prepare for your trip
Complete any necessary risk assessments for coach pick up and set down at the trip destination
On the day
Ensure you have the contact details for the coach operator and driver in case you need to get in touch. Then enjoy the trip!
Check for success
Did the driver turn the engine off when waiting? Provide feedback to the coach operator and driver
Tell your story
Feedback to your borough officer and add your story to the TfL Travel for Life website


  • Smarter driving

This activity counts towards:

  • Travel activity

How it helps

  • Reduces air pollution around schools
  • Reduces the impact on your local environment