Notts: Council axe travel scheme

Nottingham County Hall
Nottingham County Hall

A scheme offering some children free bus travel to school was cut on Wednesday night at a meeting of Notts County Council.

At the same meeting, the council formally approved measures to introduce the £7.45 per hour living wage for all council employees from 1st April 2014.

Council leader Alan Rhodes described the move as “decent, fair and morally right.”

The Discretionary Travel Scheme was introduced in 2011, and considered applications for free travel for a number of children attending schools outside of their catchment area.

The Labour group had stated that the scheme is used by just five per cent of pupils, and dropping the scheme to cut costs would not have a damaging impact on pupils and their families.

As the system used only existing transport links, children will still be bale to get to their school of choice.

However, Councillor Philip Owen, Conservative spokesman for children and young people’s services, said: “This disgraceful proposal is driven by socialist ideology and has nothing to do with cost and budget savings.”

“Their consultation was a sham, conducted during August while families were on holiday and governing bodies were not meeting. Despite this, there was still decisive feedback with 91% of online responses wanting free school travel to continue.”

Despite the opposition, the measure was carried by the council.

The removal of the scheme will not affect current users, however it will not be offered in future.