New policy for home-to-school transport
A proposed new Travel Assist policy following public consultation has today been approved by cabinet committee.
Councillor Kate Booth, cabinet member for children’s wellbeing, said: “I was really pleased to see the level of response to the Travel Assist policy consultation – around 20 per cent of people who use the service took part.
“Travel Assist is one of the largest home to school transport services in the country with around 4,250 children and young people taken to and from school every day by minibus or taxi where appropriate; additionally, we provide travel passes for a further 1,750 people and support independent travel where possible.
“It was vital that we heard from those who actually use the service and those families that are reliant upon it which is why we had such a comprehensive level of engagement, including a large number of face-to-face meetings.
“What was particularly noticeable from consultation responses was that the main concerns of parents and carers were about practice rather than policy, so this has been a really good affirmation of our direction of travel and where we need to make improvements.
“Parents, carers and young people themselves told us they want to be more involved in decision-making and to work with us more closely in future, which is as it should be.”
Key elements of the proposed policy include:
- Combining existing policies into one 0-25 age policy
- Increased emphasis on independent travel training
- Increased emphasis on the use of personal transport budgets
- Changing the appeals process meaning parents can attend certain meetings