Paid for seat scheme (spare seats)

We offer paid for seats on educational travel routes with spare capacity (after pupils eligible for free or subsidised school travel have been allocated) and where there are no other public transport services. 

The offer is subject to seats being available - councils have no obligation to arrange travel for pupils who are not eligible for free or subsidised travel.

The scheme is open to primary, secondary and sixth form pupils.

How to apply for a paid-for-seat

If you are applying for free school transport, tick the 'Would you consider paying for a seat on the school bus if you are not eligible for free transport?' box in the application form.

Otherwise, email your details to us at: or phone 0300 123 5012.

If you are applying for a seat for the current school year and there are seats available, we will contact you to ask for payment. If not, we will add your child to our waiting list.

If you are applying for a seat for the next school year, we will add your child to our waiting list. We try to allocate all spare seat places by the start of term. This is not always possible because we can only consider spare seat applications once we have allocated seats to children and young people eligible for support. This is a complicated process. For the best chance of a decision by the start of term, apply as soon as you can. 

How we allocate paid-for seats

We allocate paid-for seat places in the following order:

1. Pupils allocated a spare seat in the previous academic year.

2. Pupils who live in Cheshire East applying for a spare seat for the first time.

3. Pupils who live outside Cheshire East.

We may withdraw a paid for seat place if a pupil eligible for free or subsidised school travel needs a place. We will only do this at a half term or end of term break.

Travel passes

If you are successful in getting a paid-for seat, we will send your child a travel pass. They must show this on every journey. For information about terms and conditions, lost passes and replacements, and cancelling passes, see using a school travel pass.

Costs and how to pay 

For 2023/2024, the charge for a seat for the year is £460 per pupil. We review charges every year.

You can pay annually, termly or half-termly. We send reminder emails or letters when each payment is due. You can pay for school transport online.

Behaviour code on school transport

We work closely with schools and operators to encourage a good standard of behaviour and respect on school transport. Any bad behaviour or rule-breaking on the journey to and from school will be treated seriously and could result in your child being temporarily or permanently banned from travelling.

For full details, see our Educational travel behaviour code.

Complaints about school transport

Contact us

0300 123 5012

Monday to Friday 8:30am – 5pm Monday to Friday excluding Bank Holidays

Page last reviewed: 06 September 2022