School transport and home to school travel

Parents have a responsibility to make sure that pupils attend school and that they get to and from school safely.

Who can apply for school travel

We provide school transport for pupils of compulsory school age attending a qualifying school who live outside the accepted walking distance.

The statutory walking distance of the nearest suitable school is:

  • beyond 2 miles for children below the age of 8
  • beyond 3 miles for children aged 8 – 16

Parents are responsible for travel arrangements or expenses if their child attends another school of their parent's preference.

Direct payment or Personal Travel Budgets

We will contact you if you are eligible for a direct payment or personal travel plan for home to school travel. 

Direct Payments or Personal Travel Budgets for home to school travel will only be offered to eligible pupils, where they are the most cost-effective solution for the local authority.

The value of a Direct Payment is assessed on a direct mileage basis assuming up to two home to school return journeys each day for a maximum of 190 days per academic year. The applicable mileage rate is reviewed annually and published on the local authority’s website.

The value of a Personal Travel Budget can be set at a higher level to allow for the fact that more specialised vehicles or personal assistance is likely to be required. It comprises a mileage rate plus, in exceptional circumstances, a discretionary allowance to be individually and mutually agreed according to need. The applicable mileage rate is reviewed annually and published on the Local Authority’s website:

For the Academic Year 2018/19 the mileage rate payable for both Direct Payments and Personal budgets is 25p per mile.

This rate will apply for all new travel arrangements beginning from September 2018.

The rate takes into account HMRC guidance to avoid personal tax liability.

Post 16 transport policy statement

The Post 16 Transport Policy statement sets out the eligibility criteria for travel assistance for students with special education needs and/or disabilities (SEND) and has information about concessionary fares, passes and travel cards, or bursaries and support for vulnerable students.

The Policy Statement for over 16 travel assistance for 2018/19 (PDF, 761KB) academic year was published on 31 May 2018.

Guidance is published by the Department for Education, which refers to the purpose and content of a post 16 statement (updated October 2017).

Assistance with transport for a sixth form or college student

We don't have to provide free travel support when a young person starts post-16 education. Any travel support we do provide is discretionary and not normally provided for mainstream students. We remain committed to supporting young people with SEND who demonstrate exceptional circumstances in their journey to post 16 learning.

We will accept applications where the student meets the eligibility criteria specified in the Post 16 Travel policy and is enrolled onto a full time course or programme of study. This means the course is scheduled to provide at least 540 directed learning hours over 30 or more weeks.

Parents are expected to make a financial contribution of £450 per pupil for the academic year 2018-19 towards the cost of home to school or college travel.

How to apply for school travel

You can apply for school travel for 2019/20 from 1 September 2018. We will assess your application and tell you our decision from April 2019 onwards.

We aim to process travel applications within 14 days. It may take us longer at the start of term and during peak periods.

Parents /carers are responsible for making any interim travel arrangements while you wait for a travel pass to arrive. We do not reimburse travel expenses. 

Renewing your school travel

We will automatically renew your child's travel pass when moving up to the next school year up if your circumstances have not changed and they still meet the criteria.  We will tell you of any changes to the Education Travel Policy that affect the continuation of your child’s entitlement to travel assistance.

It is important that you inform us of any change in circumstances (for example a change of school or address) as this may affect your child’s entitlement.

We will send you your travel pass in the two weeks before the start of the new school year.

 Change of address or moving to a different school

You must tell us about a change of address or school so that we can reassess your details and update our records. Contact us by email  schooltransport@transportservicesolutions.co.uk

If you don't qualify for free school travel

We will tell you about other travel options if you don't qualify for free school travel.  This may include:

You may ask us to review our decision

Using your travel pass

All pupils must carry their pass and be ready to show it to the driver each time they travel. You should keep your pass safe and in good condition.  We tell bus operators to enforce a ‘no pass, no travel’ policy to make sure that only pupils who are eligible to travel do so.

Passes are valid for a return journey to/from school, Monday to Friday only unless otherwise stated. You can see more conditions of use on the reverse side of the travel pass. We treat the misuse and/or fraudulent use of a travel pass seriously and it could result in transport being withdrawn. Misuse includes:

  • use by anyone other than the named pass holder
  • attempted use for unauthorised journeys
  • using a damaged or defaced travel pass

Lost or damaged travel pass

You must apply to replace a lost or damaged travel pass as soon as possible. We charge £15 for a replacement pass.  You can pay this as part of the application.

Apply for a replacement pass

Once a pass has been replaced the original becomes invalid and cannot be used for travel. Pupils travelling on commercial bus or rail services will be expected to pay a fare until a replacement pass is received and no refunds will be paid for any expenses incurred.

Change of address or moving to a different school

You must tell us about a change of address or school so that we can reassess your details and update our records. Contact us by email  schooltransport@transportservicesolutions.co.uk

Cancelling a pass

You should return any passes that are no longer required to: Transport Service Solutions, Cledford Lane, Middlewich, CW10 0JN.

We would advise you to return unwanted passes by recorded delivery as we are not able to refund any payments unless we receive the pass.

If you have purchased a pass that is no longer required, it must be received back in this office for cancellation before the start of term, otherwise no refund will be paid.

Passes that have been used for half a term and are not required for the second half of term, must be received before or during the half term break.

We are unable to refund any payments once term resumes irrespective of the number of days a student may or may not have travelled.

We are committed to providing a high standard of service but there may be times when your child experiences problems with the bus or rail service they use. You can report problems or concerns by email to  schooltransport@transportservicesolutions.co.uk. We will investigate the issue and take the appropriate course of action.

Home to school travel

Sustainable modes of travel strategy (SMOTS) 

School Travel planning - including walking buses, park and stride, car sharing

Available walking routes

School crossing patrols

Contact us

transportpolicy@transportservicesolutions.co.uk

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.

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