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.

Reporter: ross.findon@iwcp.co.uk

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