Frequently asked questions-transport

Transport for students aged 16-19

Assistance with transport for a sixth form or college student

When a young person starts post-16 education, local authorities no longer have to provide free travel support to their educational placement – any such provision is discretionary and will not normally be provided for mainstream students. Cheshire East Council remains committed to providing support for young people with SEND who demonstrate exceptional circumstances regarding their journey to post 16 learning. Parents and their children are, however, advised to consider the journey to their preferred placement when making decisions about post-16 education and training.

For an application to be accepted, the student must be enrolled onto a full time course/programme of study, scheduled to provide at least 540 directed learning hours over 30 or more weeks and meet the eligibility criteria specified in the Post 16 Travel Policy.  It is important to note that a financial contribution towards the cost of home to school/college travel is being implemented in respect of home to school/college travel effective from 1 September 2018.  The level of contribution is £450 per pupil for the academic year 2018/19.

How can I find out about commercial bus services on which, a daily fare can be paid?

For further information please view our Public Transport Homepage or telephone the Traveline on 0871 200 22 33 open 7 days a week 8am to 8pm.

How to apply for a spare seat on the school bus

There is no obligation for the Council to arrange travel for pupils who are not entitled under the Home to School Transport Policy. However, consideration can be given to the sale of surplus capacity seats on school transport routes in order to offer a service to families who may wish to make use of this scheme. Spare Seats can only be offered on routes with spare capacity (after eligible pupils have been allocated) and where there are no other public transport services on which your child could pay a daily / termly fare.

If your child is attending a school sixth form (spare seats are not available to colleges) and you wish for them to be considered for a spare seat, you can make an online school transport application or call us on 0300 123 5012. We will then add your child to the waiting list and if there are spare seats available on the route, we will write to you to request payment.

Spare Seats are prioritised into 3 categories:

  • Category 1 is reserved for pupils allocated a spare seat in the previous academic year (this category is given first priority)
  • Category 2 is for Cheshire East resident pupils who are applying for a spare seat for the first time
  • Category 3 is for non-Cheshire East resident pupils (this category is given a lower priority)

For 2017/18, the spare seat charge is £920. Charges are per pupil per year and payment can be made either termly or half-termly. Reminder letters will be sent to you when each payment is due and payment can be made online at School Transport Online Payments or by calling 0300 123 5012. 

The Local Authority will accept applications for non-eligible children for ‘spare seats’.  However, a spare seat will be withdrawn (allowing 2 weeks notice) when the seat is required for an entitled child, or if the service is withdrawn or the seating capacity of the vehicle is reduced.

Cheshire East Council will consider increasing the seating capacity on a route if there is sufficient demand and it is cost effective to do so. Flexible payment options continue to be available. For 2018/2019, the spare seat charge has been reduced by 50% to £460 per annum. Charges are per pupil per year and payments can be made either termly or half-termly. Reminder letters will be sent when each payment is due and payment can be made online at School Transport Online Payments or by calling 0300 123 5012.

Pupils will not be permitted to travel unless they are in possession of a valid bus pass.

Poor behaviour on school buses

Transport Service Solutions (TSS), on behalf of Cheshire East Council, works closely with schools and operators to encourage a good standard of behaviour and respect from students. Any bad behaviour or rule-breaking on the journey to or from school will be treated seriously and could result in a temporary loss of transport.  If deemed serious, the pupil could lose transport for the remainder of the academic year.  

All information about how poor behaviour can effect your transport arrangements can be found in our behaviour code.

Can I apply for special needs transport?

For further information please contact the Assessment and Monitoring Team by calling 01625 378042

Can I appeal for transport

In certain circumstances, parents or students may request a review or appeal the decision of the local authority to refuse travel assistance for post 16 students. Parents should refer to the Post 16 transport policy on the Cheshire East website for information on eligibility including travel arrangements and financial support that may be available to post 16 students via national or local bursary schemes.

Some post 16 learning establishments offer their own travel assistance for students, the details of which establishments these are can also be found in the Post 16 transport policy.  Children and young people with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) may be eligible for travel assistance.  

Refer to the eligibility criteria within the Post 16 Travel Policy.

Who can I contact if there are problems with the bus service, or I have a complaint?

Transport Service Solutions is committed to providing a high level of service. However, there may be times when you/your child experience problems with the bus or rail service allocated. In the event of a problem arising or if you have any concerns, you can report them to us by emailing schooltransport@transportservicesolutions.co.uk or by calling us on 0300 123 5012. We will then investigate the problem and take appropriate action.

If you have a complaint or are dissatisfied in the way you have been treated by a member of staff, please write directly to the General Manager, Transport Service Solutions, Cledford Lane,Middlewich,CW10 0JR.

Any complaints will be investigated and a response will be sent to you within 10 working days.

Who is Transport Service Solutions (TSS)

Transport Service Solutions (TSS) is a wholly owned company of Cheshire East Council. TSS arrange home to school travel provision, on behalf of the Council for students in Cheshire East.

More information about  TSS  can be found on the TSS website.  

What is the parental contribution? 

Where the offer of a payment under the Education Travel Payment policy is declined by the parent, the Local Authority will arrange suitable travel to the nearest suitable establishment, subject to a financial contribution being paid by parents. The financial contribution will be, for learners eligible for travel assistance from 1September 2018, £450 per annum.

The level of financial contribution required from parents of learners aged 16-19 will be comparable to the cost incurred by other parents who purchase a spare seat on transport arranged for home to school travel. Flexible payment terms are available.

Contact us



0300 123 5012

Monday to Friday 8:30 to 17:00

Postal Address only:

Transport Service Solutions
Cledford Lane
Middlewich
Cheshire
CW10 0JR

For Bus and Train times call Traveline 0871 200 22 33 calls cost 12p per minute plus your phone company's access charge.

The English Traveline call centre opening hours are 7am to 10pm most days. You can find full details on Traveline's website.


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