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Frequently Asked Questions for Sixth Form & College Students

How do I apply for Sixth Form/College transport?

If you wish to apply for transport for a student who will be attending a sixth form or college in September 2012, you are advised to apply as early as possible.  This can be done by completing an online Application Form or by calling the school transport team on 0300 1237039. Applications for students who are already studying a post 16 course at a sixth form or college can be made at anytime, but please note the information below if you are simply looking to renew transport. The Integrated Transport Service is extremely busy following the release of GCSE results in August and applications are likely to be delayed if submitted at that time of year.

How do I renew transport for another year?

Provided the application form submitted in 2011/2012 was completed correctly, students continuing to the next year of their course in September will be sent a renewal form. The form must be completed and returned in order to renew transport. Renewal forms for students who attend Mid Cheshire College, Macclesfield College, Reaseheath College or Yale college will be posted directly to the college and given to students when they sign up for their next year of study. Please call us on 0300 1237039 if you have not received a renewal form and need transport for another year.

How much will it cost for a travel pass to sixth form/college?

For students who qualify for assisted travel, a contribution charge towards the full cost of transport will be requested. The annual charge for 2011/2012 is £440 and can be paid in the following instalments:

September to December £170
January to March £170
April to July £100

All charges are subject to change and are reviewed annually.

If preferable, the charge can also be paid half termly. Payment can be made with a debit or credit card online at School Transport Payments or by calling us on 0300 1237039. Please have the student reference number ready as this will be asked for.  There will be no reduction to the charge on occasions when the student does not use the service, or if the service does not operate due to reasons beyond the authority’s control.  You are not obligated to purchase a seat on the local authority’s school/college transport services and are free to make the appropriate travel arrangements to best meet your family’s needs.  If you do wish to use the local authority’s transport services, you are required to make the necessary payment on time and ensure that the student is in possession of their travel pass each day.

Please note, it is your responsibility to make enquiries about what alternative options or public transport services may be available to you and to compare any costs before proceeding with an application/and or payment. In a small number of cases where the journey to sixth form/college is relatively short, the return fare on the bus may be less than the termly charge and in these circumstances you may decide not to apply for a travel pass. Some commercial operators offer competitively discounted season tickets, which may be more cost effective.

Some further education colleges have confirmed that they will fund a proportion of the full charge on behalf of their students. Please contact the college directly for further details.

Are there any exemptions from the charge for sixth form/college transport?

Students or families who are entitled to one or more of the benefits listed below will be exempt from paying the charge:

Confirmation of a relevant benefit must be provided before the charge can be waived.  In addition to the above benefits, the charge for transport to sixth form/college is limited to one contribution per family unit - this is on the basis that each additional student is eligible in accordance with the Post 16 Transport Policy. Please ensure that you contact us immediately if you are no longer in receipt of a benefit that entitled the student to free transport.

What happens if we change our address or move to a different sixth form/college?

A change of address or sixth form/college must be reported so that we can reassess your details and update our records. It is also important to inform us if the student changes the course being studied. Please contact us by emailing schooltransportenquiries@cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk  or by calling us on 0300 1237039. Passes that are no longer required should be returned to the Integrated Transport Service for cancellation.

When will I receive the travel pass?

A travel pass for September will be sent to your home address during August (Once payment is received). If you have not received the pass by 16th August please contact us on 0300 1237039.  If you apply part way through the academic year and the student is eligible, the Integrated Transport Service will aim to issue a pass within 14 days.  If the student attends a college who funds their travel pass, it will be sent directly to the college for collection.

When you receive the travel pass, please ensure that you keep it in a safe place as a charge will be made to replace lost passes. If you pay towards the cost of transport, passes will not be dispatched until the payment due has been received.

Do students need to carry their travel pass every day?

It is important that all students carry their pass and be ready to show it to the driver each time the vehicle is boarded. Passes should be kept safe and in good condition.

When and for what journeys can the travel pass be used?

Unless otherwise stated, passes are valid for a return journey to and from sixth form/college, Monday to Friday only. Please refer to the information on the reverse side of the travel pass for more conditions of use. The misuse and/or fraudulent use of a travel pass will be treated seriously and could result in transport being withdrawn. Any of the following may lead to confiscation:

Confiscated passes must be replaced immediately, for which there is currently a charge of £14. Please refer to the information below for payment options.

What happens if the pass is lost or stolen?

Lost or damaged travel passes must be replaced as soon as possible, for which there is a charge of £14 for 2011/2012. Payment can be made with a debit or credit card online at: School Transport Payments or by calling us on 0300 1237039.  Please have the student reference number ready as this will be asked for. Once a ticket has been replaced the original becomes invalid and cannot be used for travel. Students travelling on commercial bus or rail services will be expected to pay their fare until a replacement pass has been received and no refunds will be paid for any expenses incurred.

What if the pass is no longer required?

Any passes that are no longer required should be returned with a covering letter to: School Transport, Integrated Transport Service, Rivacre Business Centre, Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, CH66 3TL. The pass can then be cancelled so that we only pay for the journeys that have been made - this helps to keep costs down.

If you have purchased a pass that is no longer required, it must be received back in this office for cancellation before the start of term, otherwise no refund will be paid.  Passes that have been used for half a term and are not required for the second half of term, again must be received before or during the half term break. Once term resumes, we are unable to refund any payments made, irrespective of the number of days a student may or may not have travelled. We would advise you to return unwanted passes by recorded delivery as we are not able to refund any payments unless we receive the pass.

Will my child need a photocard?

Students who travel to and from school by rail, must also carry a valid photocard. If you/your child is allocated to a rail service, we will contact you to request a passport sized photograph. If you/your child already has a photocard, please retain it for use as photocards are not renewed each year. If you lose your photocard, there is a replacement charge of £14 for 2011/2012. You may also need to supply a new photograph. Please refer to the information above for payment options.

Can I claim a refund on fares if the pass arrives late?

It may be possible to claim a refund if your completed application has taken longer than 14 days to process, please contact us on 0300 1237039 if you require a claim form. The following conditions apply:

Retrospective payments for a previous academic year will not be paid.

Can I apply for a spare seat on the bus if my application is refused?

If your application for sixth form/college is refused, you may be able to purchase a spare seat on the bus. Spare seats are only offered where available and provided there are no alternative bus services on which a fare can be paid. To apply, you may complete an online Application Form or call us on 0300 1237039.

If you are applying for a spare seat for the first time, you are advised to do so as early as possible as the allocation of new seats are processed on a first come, first served basis.  The Integrated Transport Service will try to accommodate requests for spare seats wherever possible and aim to allocate seats as soon as we are able to.  However, please be aware that due to the varying level of demand and availability of seats, we are unable to guarantee the renewal of a spare seat each year.  Please see below the spare seat charges for 2011/2012:

Student attending local sixth form/college

£500

Student attending alternative sixth form/college

£720

All charges are subject to change and reviewed annually.

In all cases, eligible students must take priority and spare seats can only be offered after all eligible students have been allocated a seat on the bus. This can often be after the start of term and until we have been able to confirm  if a seat is available, we will be unable to process your payment.

How can I find out about commercial bus services on which a daily fare can be paid?

For further information please view the Transport Homepage or telephone the Traveline on 0871 200 2233

How is poor behaviour managed on sixth form/college buses?

The Integrated Transport Service works closely with schools, colleges and operators to encourage a good standard of behaviour and respect from students. Any bad behaviour or rule-breaking on the journey to and from school/college will be treated seriously and could result in the student being temporarily or permanently banned from travelling. Smoking is illegal in public places and this includes all school/college, local bus and rail services. Any students found to be smoking will receive an immediate transport ban.

Can I apply for special needs transport?

For further information please contact the SEN Assessment and Monitoring Team by calling 0151 337 6433.

My application has been refused, can I appeal?

The Integrated Transport Service can only consider applications that meet the criteria of the Post 16 Transport Policy. Where there are exceptional family circumstances, it may be possible to appeal against the refusal of transport. Please click for the appeals procedure or call us on 0300 1237039.

Who can I contact if there are problems or I have a complaint?

The Integrated Transport Service is committed to providing a high level of service. However, there may be times when students experience problems with the bus or rail service allocated. In the event of a problem arising or if you have any concerns, you can report them to us by emailing publicandmainstreamnorthwest@cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk or by calling us on 0300 1237039. We will then investigate the problem and take appropriate action.

If you have a complaint or are dissatisfied in the way you have been treated by a member of staff, please write directly to the Head of Service, Integrated Transport Service, Rivacre Business Centre, Mill Lane, Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, CH66 3TL. Any complaints will be investigated and a response will be sent to you within 10 working days.

Contact Details

Integrated Transport Service,
Rivacre Business Centre,
Mill Lane,
Ellesmere Port,
Cheshire,
CH66 3TL

Tel: 0300 1237039