North Yorkshire families facing big hike in cost of post-16 transport fees

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Families with children in post-16 education are facing a big increase in the cost of home-to-school transport charges.

North Yorkshire County Council is reviewing the amount it asks parents to contribute towards post-16 transport to schools and colleges.

The authority says the current contribution of £490 by families has not been raised for two years, and at that point is was a marginal increase of £10.

It adds that the majority of county councils are currently charging in the region of £600 to £700.

Councils are required to review home-to-school transport charges every May.

North Yorkshire’s Children and Young People’s Service Executive will decide today whether or not to raise the fee.

“Post-16 transport will continue to be heavily subsidised and low income families will continue to receive a 50 per cent discount”, said County Councillor Patrick Mulligan, North Yorkshire’s executive member for education and skills.

“The current cost per year to the council per student is from £900 for a place on a bus, to £30,000 for specialist provision with passenger assistance.

“What North Yorkshire charges is a fraction of that.

“We understand cost pressures on families which is why we have held the travel fee for post-16 students for a number of years, and we continue to support the provision of post-16 education throughout the county and work with our schools and communities to ensure high quality teaching and learning and training.

“But the competing demands on our overall budget are very great and we must consider all the options very carefully.”

The options to be decided by the children and young people’s executive will be:

  • Increase the contribution to the national bus average of £5 per day – based on post-16 students attending three days a week for up to 38 weeks this would increase the rate to £570 per annum;
  • Increase the fee to £600 per annum
  • Increase the fee to the average county council fee of £650 per annum
  • No increase to the contribution rate

The agreed option will be implemented from June 1, for the start of the 2019/2020 academic year.