Have your say on the Home to School Transport Consultation

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Buckinghamshire Council has today launched its Home to School Transport Consultation inviting residents to share their views on proposed changes to council-run school bus charges (Spare Seats Scheme), the Home to School Transport Policy (0- to 25-Year-Olds) and the Post-16 Transport Policy Statement for 2023 to 2024.

Between Wednesday 19 October and midnight on Sunday 4 December, people in Buckinghamshire will be able to provide their views on proposals for:

  • Spare Seats Scheme charging options
  • Updates to our home to school transport policies

Any changes will apply for the 2023 to 2024 academic year onwards and will apply to both new and existing customers.

The Spare Seats Scheme offers paid-for seats on timetabled Council-run school buses, after all young people who are eligible for free school transport have been allocated a seat.

The changes will even out the cost of travel over a child’s whole school career by reducing the cost of post-16 travel for some Spare Seats passengers, making it easier for parents and carers to know upfront how much they will have to pay before applying for a seat.

The consultation addresses concerns that the Spare Seats fee structure is complex and difficult to understand and proposes three options for simplified school bus ticket charges.

Under all proposed options, non-Buckinghamshire Council residents will pay a higher fee to customers who live within Buckinghamshire.

The Home to School Transport Policy sets out the Council’s approach to providing transport to schools and educational settings for students up to 19 years old, and up to 25 years old for students with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). The Post-16 Transport Policy Statement sets out transport arrangements for students aged 16 and over. Minor changes to these policies are being proposed to make them clearer and easier to understand.

Steve Broadbent, Cabinet Member for Transport, commented:

“We sell spare seats on Council school buses where they are available after allocating seats to children who qualify for free assistance. This is a positive way of maximising the number of children who are able to travel on our commissioned bus routes.

“The service has had feedback from parents that the current charging structure is complicated and confusing with lots of different factors that can lead to uncertainty over the rate to be charged. We want to make it easier for parents to understand so are consulting on options which simplify the pricing structure.

“There are no other changes proposed to the Spare Seat Scheme offer, application process or prioritisation policy. Only the Spare Seat charges will change from the 2023 to 2024 academic year.

“The consultation is open to anyone who wishes to share their views, so please do take a look and provide your comments.”

Complete the online survey at:

www.buckinghamshire.gov.uk/school-transport-consultation