Proposal to withdraw discretionary funding for fare paying school transport services

This consultation will run from 02 April until 28 May 2019

 

Background

The Vale of Glamorgan Council is currently facing major budget pressures and needs to make savings of £3.7million in the 2019/20 financial year. A number of savings options are being put forward and are being consulted on.


One suggested option is the withdrawal of funding for discretionary fare paying school transport services.  Pupils entitled to free school transport will not be affected by this proposal. 


Financial support for fare paying school transport services is not a statutory duty of the Council. The proposal to withdraw this funding could save the Council in the region of £180k per year. 

 

Below is a list of services that the Council currently subsidises for some pupils. Please note that this proposal will not affect pupils who are eligible for free school transport services. 

 

 

Services

  • 351 - St Athan Primary School
  • P122 - Llangan Primary School
  • P125 - Ysgol Sant Curig & Ysgol Sant Baruc
  • P132 -  Ysgol Pen Y Garth
  • P133 -  St Josephs R/C Primary School 
  • P135 -  St Andrews Major C/W Primary School
  • P138 -  St Illtyd Primary School 
  • P139 -  Ysgol Pen Y Garth
  • P97 -  Llansannor C/W Primary School
  • S10 -  Pencoedtre & Whitmore High School / Ysgol Bro Morgannwg 
  • S14 - Pencoedtre & Whitmore High School 
  • S2 - Whitmore High School & Ysgol Bro Morgannwg 
  • S49 - St Richard Gwyn R/C Secondary Schoool
  • S51 -  St Richard Gwyn R/C Secondary School 
  • S53 -  St Richard Gwyn R/C Secondary School 

 

In order to consider this savings option further your response to the consultation questions in the below survey would be greatly appreciated. 

 

Fare Paying School Transport Survey

 

Paper copies and large print copies are available upon request.

 

Only consultation responses submitted online or to the Passenger Transport Team will be considered.  

 

For more information please see the documents below.

Below are some Frequently Asked Questions you may have regarding the proposals:
  • Who receives free school transport?

    A primary school child who lives over 2 miles and a secondary school child who lives over 3 miles, using an available walking route and attending their catchment school, is eligible for free school transport.

     

    Some pupils may be eligible based on an unavailable walking route from their home to the school. The distance criteria for home to school transport is set by Welsh Government as part of the Welsh Government Learner Travel Measure.

  • My child currently uses school transport, will they have to pay if the proposal goes ahead? 
    If a pupil currently holds a travel pass that they have not paid for and their circumstances have not changed, then there will not be a charge to travel.
  • My child uses ALN transport, will I have to pay if the proposal goes ahead? 
    If the ALN transport team hold a current transport request form for your child and they are eligible for free transport then there will not be any change on their eligibility to travel.
  • What is a ‘fare paying service’? 
    Fare paying services are provided to cater for pupils who live less than the qualifying distance from their catchment school.  They are provided to assist with the reduction of congestion at the school gate and encourage public transport use.
  • My child has a free bus pass on a fare paying bus but some pupils pay a fare.  How will my child get to school if a fare paying service is removed? 
    The Vale of Glamorgan Council will continue to provide statutory free school transport to those pupils who qualify on distance/unavailable walking route grounds who are currently allocated to a fare paying school transport service. If the fare paying element is removed it may mean pupils who are eligible for free school transport will be collected in smaller vehicles.
  • How much will the fares cost on services if the Operators choose to run them themselves, without any financial subsidy from the Council? 
    It is up to the Operator to set a fare on a commercial bus service but they have indicated that there would be a rise from the current fares of £1 single/£2 return to possibly £2 single/£3 return on some services.
  • I qualify for free school meals so will I have to pay to use a fare paying bus? 
    If your child does not qualify for a free school travel pass and you choose to use school transport then you will have to pay.
  • Is this a change to the School Transport policy? If so, the Welsh Government Learner Travel measure states that any change in policy must be published by 1st October, prior to the new school year the following September. 
    This is not a change in policy. Fare paying school transport services are provided at the discretion of the Council and do not form part of the statutory school transport function.
  • How can I find out about other bus services that can be used? 
    Traveline Cymru (https://www.traveline.cymru/) provides a one stop shop for public transport enquiries.

 

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