School and college transport
School admissions process and transport
Before applying for a school place we urge you to consider how you will transport your child to school, taking into account any potential transport costs. Please be advised that school admissions and school transport policies are prescribed through different pieces of legislation. School admission applications are calculated using a straight line distance. School transport applications are assessed using an in-house GIS mapping system that measures the nearest available walking route.
Since September 2015 travel assistance has only be offered to pupils attending their nearest school subject to the distance criteria. For further information on how our policies are administered, please read the information below or call 0300 123 7039 and ask to speak to a member of the transport team.
Please note: Eligibility for transport can alter for a number of reasons. If your child becomes ineligible for any reason, such as a change of address, a route reassessment determining a route as no longer hazardous or the building of a new road, bridge or footpath*, the Council will contact you to let you know. This may mean free transport is no longer available and in such cases, notice of a minimum of a term is normally given.
* this list is not exhaustive
Making a payment online
You can make a payment for school college transport, replacement bus pass, a spare seat pass and transport offered on medical grounds (where not attending the nearest school).
Transport policies and appendices
Academic year 2015-16 - policies updated March 2016
- Home to educational establishment transport policy 2015-16- revised (PDF, 202KB)
- Appendix one – eligibility assessment and appeals process 2015-16 -revised (PDF, 160KB)
- Appendix two – suitability assessment and appeals process 2015-16 -revised (PDF, 110KB)
- Appendix three – post-16 transport hardship assessment 2015-16 -revised (PDF, 216KB)
Transport policy statement
Academic year 2015-16 - statement updated March 2016
- For learners aged 16-18 in further education and continuing learners aged 19 and over and learners with learning difficulties and/or disabilities (2015-16) - revised (PDF, 287KB)
Apply for mainstream travel assistance
Please use this form if your child is attending a mainstream school and does not have a disability that prevents them from accessing mainstream school bus or public transport services.
There is no legal duty for the Local Authority (LA) to provide over 16 transport for mainstream students and this provision was withdrawn from September 2014 in line with a previous policy decision. The LA will, however, consider individual cases where the student is attending their local college and ‘hardship’ or low income can be demonstrated.
- Over 16 - Discretionary Hardship Application (not travel application)
- Discretionary hardship application form v6 - paper version for printing (PDF, 280KB)
- Telephone: 0300 123 7039
Apply for Special Educational Needs (SEN) / disability travel assistance
Please use this form if your child has a Statement of Special Educational Needs (SEN) or an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) or a disability or if your child has a disability, but does not have an EHCP, which has a substantial long-term effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.
- Special Educational Needs transport application form
- SEN and disability needs application form v9 – paper version for printing (PDF, 343KB)
Apply for medical needs travel asistance
Please use this form if your child has a medical condition that presents a short term physical difficulty, for example, broken bone or following hospitalisation.
Personal travel budget
A personal travel budget (PTB) assists with travel costs from home to an educational establishment for children and young people with a statement of special educational needs (SEN) or education health care plan (EHCP) or a learning difficulty assessment (LDA).
Independent Travel Training (ITT)
Travel training supports children, young people and adults to get more out of life through learning the skills and building confidence to use public transport safely.
Some travel assistance may be provided by volunteers. For further information please contact us.
If you don’t qualify for free/assisted travel assistance
- Spare seats scheme
- School journey planner
- Cheshire Traveline
- Eligibility appeals procedure
- Suitability appeals procedure
You may also be able to access alternative sources of funding for your travelling, please see the benefits booklet attached below for further information. Examples of funding sources include the 16-19 Bursary Fund (page 7) and Concessionary Travel (page 10).
Guidelines for the assessment of the safety of walking routes to schools
For further details on this guidance and other advice, please visit:
Sustainable school travel strategy
In response to new legislation (The Education and Inspection Act 2006) all local authorities are required to develop and promote a sustainable school travel strategy. The Council's aim with their strategy is to encourage healthier, greener and safer ways of travel to school by:
- encouraging every school to develop a travel plan
- aiming to reduce car journeys to educational establishments, improve child road safety, child health and the quality of the local environment
- promoting the use of sustainable modes of travel for school related journeys
- working with schools and other educational establishments to promote walking and cycling by providing free training programmes, a walking bus, and a 'parent parking charter' programme to prevent inconsiderate parking around the school gate.
Information for students and parents/carers about sustainable ways of travelling to school is available on the Initiatives page.
The ‘travel to school’ strategy is produced annually and is currently under review.