Free post-16 student travel gets the green light

Free post-16 transport for students across Northumberland have been reintroduced after the council scrapped travel charges.

The County Council’s Cabinet unanimously gave the green light to remove charges for the start of the new school year in September.

Since 2014 students have been required to pay for their own travel if they can access
their chosen learning provider via local bus and rail services.

For those students who cannot access a viable public transport network, subject to eligibility criteria, arrangements are made for them to travel on school buses/taxis contracted by the Council at a cost of £600 a year per student.

The current administration vowed to abolish charges for students meeting the eligibility criteria, with a one-off £50 fee being introduced to help cover costs.

Deputy Council Leader Wayne Daley, who is also Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, said: “One of our priorities when we formed this administration was to abolish this charge which we felt was unfair and divisive.

“We’re delighted to be able to reintroduce free post 16 transport for many youngsters. We have huge ambitions for our young people and we want all our students to have equal opportunities.

“Delivering a good quality sustainable education in Northumberland is vital and part of that is about ensuring students can travel easily and cheaply to where they need to study.

“We feel this was an incredibly unfair tax on rural families and we’re delighted to have scrapped it.”
 
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