Consultation continues on plans to cut free student travel

By Ross Findon

Wednesday, July 2, 2014


Consultation continues on plans to cut free student travel

Cllr Richard Priest has said the Isle of Wight council school transport policy should be fair to all and value for money.Picture by Peter Boam.

A CONSULTATION on plans to axe free school transport for some students on the Isle of Wight is continuing.

The council has announced proposals to only offer the statutory level of school transport from September 2015.

As reported by the County Press last month, fears have been raised that changes to Isle of Wight Council school transport provision will lead to some children losing their free school travel.

The policy change would mean students would only be entitled to free travel to their nearest school — providing it is more than three miles away if it is a secondary school, or two miles away for primary.

Carisbrooke, Medina and Christ the King College students are allowed free travel to their preferred school because the three schools are so close together, but the council has proposed scrapping the discretionary provision, which would save £125,000.

Subsidised post-16 transport could also be axed, saving £230,000.

A spokesman said: "The increasing cost of school transport was highlighted at a meeting of scrutiny committee and executive member of children's services Cllr Richard Priest made a commitment to take forward the consultation, recognising the distinction between statutory and discretionary provision as well as the role of the transport provider in all post 16 travel provision.

"The council is facing huge financial challenges given the reduction in government funding must consider all of the discretionary services that it provides and look at alternative ways of delivering services."

Cllr Priest said the council needed to ensure the transport policy was fair to everyone and offered value for money.

The consultation runs until July 23. To take part, click here.



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Displaying the last 10 of 21 comments - Show All Comments

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by David Blackford

4th July 2014, at 07:18:42

That is good news Mike - but still a good many 65 year olds travelling to work free on a bus pass I bet

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by Mike Powell

3rd July 2014, at 23:24:10

David. To get a bus pass now you have to be 65 those days are gone.

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by alan naylor

3rd July 2014, at 20:19:10

I think its a French firm that collects the refuge Mike and the last time I was on the island there where quite a number of school children on the ferry do they travel free too???

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by George Hollett

3rd July 2014, at 17:08:13

I remember the days when children went to schools in their 'catchment' area. For example, if you lived in Bembridge, there was a Primary School, a Middle School & then pupils were given a free bus pass & travelled to Sandown High School. If however a parent wished for their child to attend a different school, Ryde High School for example, then I'm pretty sure they had to pay for the travelling themselves. The system seemed to work fine then...not sure what's gone wrong since...

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by steve paul taylor

3rd July 2014, at 15:57:21

Predators on huge wage packets robbing the poor.

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by steve skelton

3rd July 2014, at 09:02:46

i know, lets raise council tax even more, cut all services then we can all just pay extra for whatever we need..and then the waste of space councillers can cream even more money off for themselves..... sorted !

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by David Blackford

3rd July 2014, at 07:52:42

This guy is talking about stopping free school transport.
My argument is why should children have to pay to get to school when over 60's travel free - often to work..
There is something sadly wrong here!

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by David Shoulder

2nd July 2014, at 20:41:59

I think the question should be why are so many children going to school out of area. Everyone would benefit from supporting their community schools rather than persuing a dubious choice. All those lost hours sat on a bus. All that wasted energy that could have been used to raise standards rather than choosing what is often a false reality. Support your local school and make it better.

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by Mat Thomas

2nd July 2014, at 19:45:49

Given that Cllr Priest and the rest of the Council are scratching around for saving by shaving a bit here and a bit there and still coming up with more financial problems, What are Councils doing to say to the Government, "the reduction in funding is destroying us?", What are IWALC and NALC on behalf of the parishes doing to represent the people's interest?

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by Don Prescott

2nd July 2014, at 17:32:41

I'm not disagreeing with you!
Dunno why you thought I was.
Inefficient is not the word that I would have chosen however.

Congrats on getting Ross BTW, always like it when he is on HIGNFY.

Any views or opinions presented in the comments above are solely those of the author and do not represent those of the Isle of Wight County Press.

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