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School and college transport

The Council has recently undertaken a consultation exercise on a number of proposed changes to the current home to school transport policies. This consultation has now closed. A summary of the agreed changes is as follows.

Under 16 school transport – catchment school

For new applicants from September 2015, eligibility for free transport will be based only on distance (over the statutory walking distance) from home to the nearest qualifying school.  In recognition of the rural nature of some of the high impact communities that will be affected by the change, it has been agreed that a total mitigation fund of up to £25k be used for the 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 academic years to support the rural communities, including Saughall, Tarvin, Farndon/Churton and Tattenhall.  Agreement as to how this will be utilised and administered will be worked up in partnership with the Council’s Localities Directorate, the high impact schools and the communities themselves in the period leading up to the September 2015 implementation date.

The purpose of the fund is to create sustainable transport solutions to support choice in these rural areas. The Council is also looking to increase its pool of volunteers including volunteer drivers. There is also a potential opportunity for these communities to assist with recruitment in these rural areas and if successful the Council will consider an additional incentive payment to the mitigation fund linked to the accrued savings for the communities to use for sustainable home to school transport solutions.

Under 16 school transport – statutory walking distance

From September 2015, any pupils transferring into school years 4, 5 and 6 (age eight onwards) to a new school will only be offered free transport if their nearest qualifying school is over the three miles statutory walking distance from their home address. (For those children in receipt of free transport under the existing policy up to August 2015, a protection will apply and they will continue to receive the same level of support up to the end of year 6).

16-19 transport – Special Educational Need (SEN) for students with additional needs

1. It has been agreed that from September 2014 new post 16 SEN students eligible for transport to their educational establishment will be charged £660 per year (or £330 for hardship) rising to £880 (or £440 for hardship) in September 2015. Existing post 16 SEN students entering into year 13 will be exempt from this charge.

2. The Council will write to central Government outlining the difficulties that councils face associated with raising the participation age to 18 (that children must remain in education, training or employment).

3. An Executive Working Group will be established to consider the implementation process of the school transport charging policy going forward between May to September 2014 and to assist families wherever possible.

Medical needs

From September 2014 an annual charge of £660 will be applied for pupils of statutory school age with medical needs not attending their nearest qualifying school (or an apportioned amount if it is a short term arrangement). From September 2015 the annual charge will increase to £880. The Director of Children and Young People’s Services will retain the discretion to consider cases on an exceptional basis.  For those pupils with medical needs attending their nearest qualifying school that is under the statutory walking distance but due to disability or mobility they are unable to walk there in reasonable safety, even when accompanied, free transport will be provided.

Independent Travel Training

The introduction of a suitability assessment for Independent Travel Training (ITT) as part of the annual SEN statement review (or replacement review process as we move to Education Health and Care plans) for all children and young people from school year 6 onwards who have special educational needs and are entitled to transport provision by the Council. The assessment will determine the level of ITT to be offered to the individual. The Council remains committed to offering training towards full and independent travel for individuals assessed as being capable of doing so. Children in care who are eligible for local authority transport provision will also be assessed on an annual basis and ITT will be offered on the basis outlined above.

Under 16 school transport – increase to spare seat charges

From September 2014, an annual charge of £660 will be implemented for spare seats. This charge will increase to £880 in September 2015.

For further information regarding the review please visit the consultation page.

School busChanges to home to school/college transport from September 2012

Apply for mainstream transport

Apply for Special Educational Needs (SEN) transport

Apply for medical needs transport

Pay for transport

You can make a payment here for replacement travel passes, 16+ travel passes, denominational travel passes and spare seat travel passes.

Transport policies and appendices

Transport policy statement

For learners aged 16-18 in further education and continuing learners aged 19 and over and learners with learning difficulties and/or disabilities (PDF, 180 KB)

Guidelines for the assessment of the safety of walking routes to schools

Guidance on walking to school routes (PDF, 213KB)

For further details on this guidance and other advice, please visit:

The Road Safety GB website

If you don’t qualify for free/assisted transport