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Save our buses

Fair Fares Now

Roads to Nowhere

Save Our School and College Buses: real stories

New research has found that nearly 80% of local authorities have reduced school and college transport since 2010. The impact on families has been huge.

Here are some stories from families that have been affected.

We'd love to hear your story too - please tell us using the form at the bottom of this page.

Michelle's daughter"My daughter can no longer attend her chosen sixth form college independently. 

Shropshire Council policy now offers transport to only a 'designated' college post 16. The designated college for our address is in special measures and does not offer the A-level courses my daughter is taking. There is no commercial bus or transport link from our village since our daily bus service was cut... the nearest bus stop is six miles away.

I have read statutory guidelines for post-16 transport assistance and Shropshire Council policy seems to be working against it. Guidelines suggest an authority should not discriminate between institutions, should give thought to those in rural areas where the infrastructure is poor and should give young people the opportunity to choose between courses. 

My husband currently drops my daughter off and collects her from her chosen sixth form college. This involves her having extremely long days and often waiting in the dark alone during the winter months."

- Michelle Wilkes, Shropshire

Ann and family"It came as a complete surprise to us all that we were no longer entitled to free school transport to our historical catchment school, as none of us were aware that a consultation and a change of policy had occurred. 

Our primary school has been a feeder school to N. High School for many years. (Students are automatically invited to taster days, tests are completed so students can be put in the correct classes and staff from N. High School visit the children, all to aid the transition to secondary school.) But whilst N. High School remains our catchment school, it is NOT our closest school, so we no longer receive free transport to it.

Now our primary school is looking at going into the academy that runs N. High School, so our primary will have even closer links to the catchment school, but still no free transport!

In my case (and in many others) I already have an older child attending N. High School and receiving free transport. So why would I send my younger child to a different secondary school? I want my children to be able to go off to school and be safe on the journey together.

The introduction of this policy will mean that I have to pay £50-60 a month in bus fares - that's if there's a bus available. The bus company which operates the school bus has a diminishing contract with Essex County Council and cannot guarantee that it will continue. I may then be forced to change my work hours or my job to drive my children to school along Braintree's already severely congested roads."

- Ann Hooks, Essex

"My son is 16 and attends special school in Wisbech. He has severe autism, severe learning disability, and is completely non verbal.

His school is almost 20 miles from our home, as are the other two special schools he could potentially have attended.

In Cambridgeshire there's a proposal to end free school transport for disabled children once they reach 16. Here's my argument with the proposal: I have a neurotypical child aged 15 who attends a school five miles from home. Once he reaches 16 my youngest could walk, ride a bike, take a regular bus or even ride a moped to school. Because of his disabilities my eldest has none of these options.

There isn't a suitable school closer to my home for him. To take him to and from school I would need to leave my job, thereby placing additional costs on already stretched resources to provide me with sufficient income. 

I choose to work because I don't want to live on benefits but if they cancel school transport, I will have no choice."

- Sherie Paris, Cambridgeshire

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