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New contracts to reduce home to school transport costs

New contracts between Swansea Council and local transport providers are set to be agreed so that thousands of schoolchildren can continue to get to and from school while saving the council almost £70,000 a year.

Guildhall

The proposed new contract arrangements will be presented to the council's Cabinet after formal open tendering was completed for 45 different routes.

It means the council will spend almost £6m over the next five years to ensure children who qualify for home to school transport can safely get to classes.

The awarding of the new contracts has also meant a potential saving of almost £350,000 on previous contracts during the five-year period they are due to run.

Cllr Jennifer Raynor, Cabinet Member for Education Improvement, Learning and Skills said: "For many children, home to school transport is essential for them to attend school regularly and it's important that we work with suitably qualified local transport providers to secure these contracts.

"Equally, it's vital that we always look for the best outcome financially when agreeing these contracts. I'm delighted that we have been able to reduce our annual costs for these transport arrangements but that we have maintained all the services we currently operate. I would like to thank our transport officers for their hard work in securing these new contracts."

In Swansea, children in primary school qualify for free school transport if they attend their catchment school and live more than two miles away and for comprehensive schools the distance is three miles or where there is no available walking route between their home and school. 

If approved, the new contracts will start next month and run until February 2023 with an option to extend them for an additional 12 months.

Cllr Raynor added: "The development of five year contracts means we can maintain stability within the home to school transport service and it also helps the local economy by working with local transport providers over a number of years."

The report for the home to school transport contracts will be presented to Cabinet at next Thursday's meeting.

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