Have Your Say on Proposed Changes to Home to School Transport

Parents, carers, pupils and schools are being urged to share their views on the future of school travel in North Yorkshire.

North Yorkshire Council has launched a consultation today (February 19) on the home to school travel policy, which costs the authority £42 million this current financial year. Providing home to school travel is the third largest item of revenue expenditure for the council, after adult social care and waste management, with figures doubling since 2015-2016.

At an executive meeting held on Tuesday, January 23, the elected member for education, learning and skills approved a consultation to review the policy following updates for DfE guidance.

The consultation will now seek the views of parents, carers, pupils and schools on reviewing the discretionary elements. Any proposed changes to future transport provision will be implemented over a seven-year phased period.

North Yorkshire Council’s executive member for education, learning and skills, Cllr Annabel Wilkinson, said: “Our council, like many others, finds itself in a challenging financial climate.

“We are in a stronger position than most, but we must strike the right balance to fulfil the competing needs of our statutory services while ensuring other services are sustainable.

“The council spends approximately £1m per school week on home to school transport. Any pupil currently receiving home to school transport under the eligibility criteria of the current policy will continue to do so. The consultation will take on board the views of parents, carers, pupils, schools and partners about proposed changes over a seven-year period. We would like to receive as many views as possible.

“It is important know what you think of these proposals. Please use this opportunity to have your say by submitting your feedback during the consultation period. Thank you.”

The council’s assistant director of education and skills, Amanda Newbold, added: “We would like to reassure parents and carers that no-one will lose what they currently have in terms of home to school transport provision. However, with rising transport costs it is our duty to look at ways to bring down such costs in the future and this calls for careful review due to the challenging financial times we are in.  

“The review of the transport policy does not affect where your child goes to school – that is still your choice. The review will look at the overall eligibility to access free travel to your child’s nearest school and how that can be delivered in a fair and economical way.

The consultation, which runs until April 12, includes a survey.

Parents and carers interested in giving their feedback to the consultation on home to school travel are encouraged to complete the survey at https://www.northyorks.gov.uk/survey/h2sc

An easy-read version of the survey will also be available online. Paper-based versions of the survey and policy can be requested.

Anyone requiring further information about this consultation should email H2Stransportreview@northyorks.gov.uk