Home to School Transport Consultation Launched in Buckinghamshire

  |  Published: Jun 7th 2016
Cllr Zahir Mohammed, Cabinet Member for Education and Skills
Cllr Zahir Mohammed, Cabinet Member for Education and Skills
A message from Buckinghamshire County Council:

Views are being sought from across the county on proposed changes to home to school transport in Buckinghamshire.

The amount of money we get from central government is going down, and by 2018 will have disappeared completely, plus there’s a greater demand on our children’s and adult social care services.

As a consequence we are being forced to look elsewhere for savings, and that includes how we get children in Buckinghamshire to school, as we currently provide more than our statutory requirements.

What changes are we suggesting?

Our School Transport Policy

In 2012 we agreed that, in certain parts of the county, we would continue to fund free school transport for pupils who attend their nearest Buckinghamshire school or one that had a strong pattern of preference from the local community. Changing our policy to bring it in line with what we’re legally required to do should save an estimated £0.5 million.

This means we would only provide free school transport to the nearest secondary school to your home address. The school could be located in Buckinghamshire or in a neighbouring county and could be an Upper, Grammar (for qualified children only) or Comprehensive.

Paying to use our Home to School Transport

We know that families like to use and pay for our school transport services when they’re not eligible for the free service, even where there are alternative public bus services. This includes those who are under 16 or those over 16 and those out of county pupils who attend a Buckinghamshire school.

For under 16’s who live in Buckinghamshire, we charge the same whether you are travelling three miles or fifteen miles. This means an annual pass for the 2016/17 academic year costs £599.

Currently, we do not make enough money from providing this service to cover its costs and as a discretionary service it's over and above what we have to do.  We are looking for feedback from the community on whether there are alternatives we can explore to provide this service in a sustainable way.

Cllr Zahir Mohammed, Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, says “We appreciate this is a sensitive subject, so we’re keen to get opinions from as many people and groups as we can, to help us find solutions. By giving us your views, we can hopefully find a way through these issues that’s agreeable to the majority of parents, carers and residents.”

You can hear more from Cllr Mohammed on these proposals by watching this short video: https://youtu.be/ZvIXM7t1H4c

If you want to have your say on these changes, you can do so between Tuesday June 7th and Friday July 15th and you can access the survey here:
www.buckscc.gov.uk/schooltransportconsultation

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