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Public Consultation on Bucks School Transport Arrangements
Planned revisions to Buckinghamshire County Council’s home to school transport arrangements go out to public consultation today (Wednesday, 31 October).
A consultation survey at www.buckscc.gov.uk/schooltransportsurvey will seek public feedback on options to make the service more sustainable and fit for purpose.
The County Council’s revised transport arrangements would include:
- – Improving the mix of council-provided and commercial transport to provide more flexible options and better value for money.
- – Applying statutory requirements to all Buckinghamshire schoolchildren, which would include phasing out local free transport arrangements in Ivinghoe and Iver.
- – Parents of post-16 children with special educational needs contributing towards their travel costs.
There would be no change to arrangements for more than 5,000 pupils who are eligible for free travel. Proposed revisions would apply only to children and young people who are not eligible for free statutory home-to-school transport.
Mike Appleyard, Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, said: “We’re exceeding our budget by £1.3 million and we need to make much better use of transport resources across the county to get the best value for money. We also want to be consistent in applying our statutory duties, while considering the effect on all those who use the service.
“It’s important that we get feedback on the proposed options so that our future offer meets the needs of families, communities and schools. Be assured we will make changes considerately so that we limit the need to increase prices.”
As part of the consultation Mike Appleyard will hold 11 face-to-face meetings with those who use the service, and will also meet parents of children with special educational needs. Results of the consultation will be reported to the County Council Cabinet in March 2019 before a final decision is made.
The service, currently costing £15.1 million, takes almost 9,900 Buckinghamshire children to and from school. Of this, £12.7m pays for statutory provision, for children eligible for travel assistance. The remaining £2.4m pays for transport where the County Council has applied discretion and agreed to support young people, even though they are not eligible for free travel.