Home to School Transport – further consultation

By on 12/06/2012 in News

Birmingham City Council has met with young people, parents and stakeholders to get their views on the Home to School Transport Service and how it should be delivered in the future.

Although we have increased the budget slightly and will not be overspent this year, if we don't make changes now we will return to our historical overspend. Birmingham City Council has not changed its policy on this since 1989, unlike many neighbouring authorities which have already changed the service to providing only the statutory minimum as required by government.

The key messages from parents and young people were:

• They were prepared to pay for a service – a contribution to costs and in some cases there was discussion whether this ought to be means tested

• They recognised the need for improved route planning -so long as children were safe that it was right to increase the numbers of young people on buses and to increase journey times

• They thought that the council should use alternatives to transport more - including the use of travel passes and payments

• They - especially young people – thought that the council should provide more independent travel training so that young people developed the skills to travel safely on their own

• That the focus of the service should be on the most disabled children and that the council should consider what changes could be made to make the service as robust as possible

Parents were clear that any changes were made with sufficient warning to allow them to make decisions re school places and that changes should not made retrospectively.

No decisions have been made but the proposed polices are being posted on the council website today for consultation.

The following are the key proposals included in the new consultation:

• The removal of support for transport to faith schools
• A new post-16 policy - including charging
• The application of the statutory walking distances in determining access to home to school transport
• The introduction of a personal travel budget scheme
• Investing in independent travel training
• Investing in a service that provides transport for the most challenging and complex young people

Further details of the consultation, which runs until 14 July, are on the website along with draft policies and we would welcome your comments via the comments form on the consultation web page.

If you would like to provide any final comments on the proposed policies you can do so by visiting the consultation web page:
http://www.birmingham.gov.uk/transport-consultation

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