Hertfordshire school travel faces major cutbacks

FREE and subsidised school transport beyond the legal entitlement faces major cutbacks as the county council looks at reining in its budget.

The need to reduce the �25 million annual school transport budget is the major motivation behind a radical re-think of the county’s approach to whether or not it can continue the amount of travel it funds currently.

Education executive member, Cllr Richard Thake, said: “For many years, Herts county council has gone above and beyond its legal duty in providing free or subsidised school transport. Naturally, families have welcomed this additional support and, in some cases, have come to expect it but we need to re-prioritise in the light of the current acute financial situation.”

He urged parents and carers considering which schools to apply for to seriously consider all aspects of how their children would travel to school. And he said he wanted to stimulate a debate about how schools and parents could use their local knowledge to create travel and transport solutions that met their particular needs.

A consultation document is being drawn up and will go out for discussion in the autumn term.