Public Transport: Concessions

Transport written question – answered on 22nd October 2008.

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Photo of Nigel Evans Nigel Evans Conservative, Ribble Valley

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent discussions he has had with local authorities on provision of free public transport for all children.

Photo of Paul Clark Paul Clark PPS (Rt Hon Ed Balls, Secretary of State), Department for Children, Schools and Families, Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Transport

holding answer 21 October 2008

We have no plans at present to extend the statutory minimum bus concession to all children, so there have been no formal talks with local authorities about doing so. However, local authorities can use their existing powers to offer local concessionary travel to children and many do offer some form of concession. Such discretionary concessions are not funded centrally but by each local authority, from its own resources.

For those still at school, many school bus services are provided under contract. Every local authority already has a statutory duty to prepare and publish a transport policy statement.

From September 2008 the Education and Inspections Act 2006 extends entitlement to free school transport for pupils entitled to free school meals or whose parents are in receipt of maximum working tax credit.

At secondary school age, pupils attending one of their three nearest schools that is between two and six miles from their home, and those attending their nearest school preferred on grounds of religion or belief between two and 15 miles, will be entitled to free school transport.

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David Pollock
Posted on 23 Oct 2008 10:41 am (Report this annotation)

Note 'on grounds of religion or belief' - that includes preference of a state school over a religious one. Non-religious beliefs and atheism, agnosticism etc count just as much as a religion in human rights law.