School bus travel could be scrapped

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A consultation looks set to be launched which could result in the discretionary travel scheme for children travelling to preferred schools in the county being scrapped.

Nottinghamshire County Council will seek approval to hold the four-week consultation and the policy committee is expected to recommend that parents, schools and other stakeholders are consulted on the travel scheme and made aware that it may be halted from September

2014.

The scheme was introduced in September 2011 and in the last two years 863 students in Year 7 and 8 have taken up the scheme – this equates to just five per cent of the secondary school population in any one year group.

Coun John Peck, committee chairman for children and young people, said: “We want to consult as widely as possible over the next few weeks before we make any decisions.

“We’re keen to hear from parents, carers, schools and any other stakeholders that may have an interest in this matter.

“We are looking at a number of options across the authority which could help the council to save money.

Initial estimates suggest that discontinuing the scheme could save £1.7m by 2017/18.

The opposition Conservative spokesman, Coun Philip Owen, said in response: “It is disappointing, but not surprising, that one of Labour’s first moves in office is to propose withdrawing the Conservatives’ free travel scheme which helps a number of pupils attend the school of their choice.”