PARENTS in Oldham are being urged to take action and book places for their children on school bus services for the next academic year.

Due to high levels of demand, applications received before June 30 are more likely to be allocated a place. From that date onwards if a bus is fully allocated no further places will be made available.

Applications for the Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) Yellow School Bus services, which exceeded 6,500 last year, can be completed online from Monday 4 June. Anyone without internet access can call 0161 244 1000 for more information.

Parents can choose their preferred option from the 84 dedicated yellow school bus routes in Greater Manchester.

Pupils should ensure that they either already have an igo card or have applied for an igo card in order to use the service. Children without an igo card will not be allowed to pay the concessionary fare on a Yellow School Bus.

Since their introduction in 2003, Greater Manchester’s yellow school buses have taken millions of car journeys off the road and proved successful in tackling on-bus anti-social behaviour.

Children using yellow school buses have a guaranteed safety-belt fitted seat every day, while vehicles have interior and exterior CCTV video recorders and will usually have the same driver every day.

TfGM’s interim head of bus services Alison Chew said: “It’s important for parents to remember that Yellow School Bus places are limited so failure to either apply for a new place or renew an existing place could see children miss out on a place.

“I would therefore advise parents to apply as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

“Our Yellow School Buses are a great way to travel, providing children and their parents with a safe, reliable and environmentally friendly alternative to the school run.”

The portal may open again after the initial month-long period, but only for services that still have spaces available.

The hybrid-electric buses – which cost £210,000 each – were part-funded by the government’s Green Bus Fund and reduce harmful emissions by up to 35% compared to diesel buses.

Buses can seat between 52 and 67 students, with a regular driver who recognises registered passengers, reducing behaviour problems. All drivers are specially trained in customer care and disability awareness.

To make an application or obtain more information on yellow school buses, visit the TfGM Yellow School bus page.

For information on public transport across Greater Manchester visit, call 0161 244 1000 (7am-8pm, Monday to Friday, and 8am-8pm at weekends and bank holidays) or follow @OfficialTfGM on Twitter.