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Frequently asked questions about school transport

Find out answers to the most common questions we get asked about school transport.

Details of pupils in receipt of free home to school transport:

 2018/192017/182016/172015/16
Number of mainstream pupils4,2664,4104,5524,300
Cost of transport for mainstream pupils£3,873,585£3,386,585£3,629,468£3,764,486
Number of ALN pupils680692676694
Cost of transport for ALN pupils£4,067,062£3,563,656£3,256,015£3,735,633
Number of mainstream contracts125139140161
Number of ALN contracts385422359400

How will my child get to school?

The Council provides home to school transport on the basis of its published Home to School Transport Policy. This is in accordance with the requirements of the Welsh Government's Learner Travel (Wales) Measure 2008.

Free transport is provided for pupils who live two miles or more from their catchment area primary school or three miles or more from their catchment area secondary school. The distance is measured by the shortest available walking route in accordance with the Council's Home to School Transport Policy, the Learner Travel (Wales) Measure 2008 and the Welsh Government's Learner Travel - Statutory Provision and Operational Guidance (June 2014). Free transport is provided from the beginning of the school year in which pupils reach the age of five. Free transport is not provided for younger / nursery aged children.

What if it's not my catchment area school?

If you are applying for a place at a school that is not the designated school for your home address, the responsibility and the cost for getting your child to and from school lies with you as parent / carer. The local authority will not provide free home to school transport when a pupil does not attend their designated school. This also applies if a pupil is granted a place at a school which is not their designated catchment school as a result of a successful appeal.

How will I know if I qualify for free transport?

Pupils who qualify for free transport will be sent an application form in May / June for the academic year starting in September.

Can I purchase a spare seat?

Pupils who live less than two miles from their catchment primary school or three miles from their catchment secondary school may be able to buy a bus pass to travel on the school bus if there are spare seats on that bus. Seats are sold from 1 October each year, however, there is no guarantee that spare seats will always be available for parents to purchase, or that spare seats will continue to be available from one year to the next. Spare seats are not available to purchase for nursery aged pupils.

You should also bear in mind that the route and timings of school bus services can vary from time to time. Details on how to purchase a seat can be found on the following page: Purchasing a spare seat on a school transport bus

Children with statements of additional learning needs

For children with statements of additional learning needs, the general transport policy described above applies. The Council will provide free transport for children with additional learning needs where they are placed by the Education Department at a mainstream school other than their local catchment school, at a specialist teaching facility other than at their local school, or in a special school, as long as they live 2 miles or more away in the case of primary pupils and 3 miles or more in the case of secondary school pupils.

The local authority does have discretion to provide free home to school transport according to the nature of the additional learning needs of the child. If the Education Department feels that a child's needs can be met at their local mainstream school, but the parents choose an alternative mainstream school, the parent is then responsible for any transport arrangements and costs.


You can get more information about school transport by contacting the Council's Integrated Transport Unit on 01792 636347.

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