Councils have a statutory duty to provide pupils with free transport to the nearest available school if they reside beyond ‘walking distance’ to that school. The law relating to ‘walking distance’ is defined as two miles for Primary age and three miles for secondary age, measured by the nearest available walking route.
The Vale of Glamorgan Council provides transport as follows:
- for primary age pupils residing over 2 miles from their nearest or designated catchment area primary school and;
- for secondary age pupils residing over 3 miles from their nearest or designated catchment area secondary school;
- The council uses a Geographical Information System (GIS) software package to measure the “walking distance”.
The above distance criteria will apply to both denominational, English and Welsh medium education provision. However, where pupils attend, as a result of parental preference, a school other than the nearest or designated catchment area school, it must be understood that parents accept full responsibility for transport costs and arrangements. If a child qualifies for free transport, a place will normally be provided on a special contract vehicle if there is one serving the particular area.
Pupils who do not qualify for free transport are sometimes permitted to travel on special contract vehicles on payment of a fare but only where spare space exists. It must be understood that the provision of this facility does not represent an obligation on the Council, and dependent on the capacity of the vehicle used, may result in the withdrawal of the facility at relatively short notice.
Certain schools are also served by a fare paying bus service which conveys non-qualifying pupils who pay fares to the driver.
In cases where a pupil qualifies for free school transport but no contract buses are provided parents may apply for travelling expenses.
In respect of Welsh Medium Primary Schools, free transport will be provided to Ysgol Iolo Morganwg from the greater Llantwit Major area to meet parents preference only if there is an existing sibling connection at the school (in reception to Year 5 at the time of making the application)
Further information regarding school transport can be found on the webpage: