Over 16s pupils’ bus fares set to rise 93%

Lincolnshire County Council’s Executive have agreed to almost double pupils’ annual contribution for bus transport, but said it will still subsidise it at 60%.

Under the new agreement starting in September, pupils over 16 will now pay £390 per year for their transport to sixth form or college, instead of the current £202.

The move was decided after consultations and public meetings, though the change will be phased in over the next two years to help low-income families.

It was also agreed that the transport will be provided to students only travelling to their nearest 6th form or college, though there is scope for minor amendments.

Students are exempt from the above rule if they are attending music or agricultural colleges up to 45 miles away.

The council will also no longer be able to help students living near unsuitable walking routes where the distance is under three miles.

‘Substantial savings’

Executive Councillor for Children’s Services Patricia Bradwell said: “In this difficult financial climate, the County Council, like all other authorities, has to make substantial savings covering many areas of service.

“However we have listened to the consultation and are phasing in the increased charges over two years.

“This, with the £180 million funding support announced by government to replace the EMA, will help lighten the burden for students.

“The council will still be subsidising this non-statutory service for students by a substantial rate of 60%.”

“The council’s total home to school/college transport budget, including statutory provision up to the age of 16, is a huge £30 million which is a third of the total Children’s Services budget.

“We have been one of the lowest chargers for post-16 transport in the past and even with these necessary changes we will remain one of the lowest chargers compared to other councils who will be increasing their already higher rates.”

Source: Lincolnshire County Council | Related Report: Lincolnshire Echo