School transport cuts to save Bradford Council £95,000 - but will cost parents up to £370 per child

A Bradford school bus

Caroline Hyde, chairman of the Bishop Wheeler Catholic Academy Trust

Bradford Council leader David Green

First published in News
Last updated
Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by , T&A Reporter

Cuts to free school transport are to be made from next year but Bradford Council’s executive has pledged to look into ways of reducing the cost of a school bus pass to help those affected by the changes.

The cost-cutting measures are intended to save £95,000 from next financial year and see the Council ending discretionary travel assistance in certain circumstances.

These are:

  • in relation to faith schools;
  • under fives with special educational needs;
  • pupils whose families move house in the final year of school;
  • pupils attending pupil referral units;
  • pupils whose school is nearer by a straight line, even if there is a nearer school by available walking route.

The Council will continue to offer free school transport to those living more than the statutory walking distance from their nearest available school. This is classed as two miles for under-eights and three miles for those eight-years-old and over.

As the new criteria applies to those attending school from September 2015, pupils who already receive free transport will not be affected by the changes.

Executive members agreed to charge up to £370 a year per pupil for a pass to travel on a dedicated school bus service - the equivalent of a School Plus Metrocard. Although Councillor David Green, leader of the Labour-run Council said they would look at the actual cost of the service and endeavour to bring the price down.

The moves, particularly in relation to faith schools, have come under fire, with a petition against the changes attracting nearly 350 signatures. Caroline Hyde, chairman of Bishop Wheeler Catholic Academy Trust, which runs Sacred Heart Catholic Primary in Ilkley, and St Mary's, Menston, spoke out at yesterday’s meeting of the executive.

She said it was an attack on faith schools and against the current guidance from the Department for Education. In addition, it would push cash-strapped families into sending their children to schools closer to home - taking spaces that would have gone to other local children.

“There has been no consideration of how parents will respond by choosing other schools,” she said.

Coun Green said: “In an ideal world, we wouldn’t necessarily be having this discussion, but we are in a situation where we are under incredible budget pressure and we have to look to protect the frontline services that are the most important to people of the district. Every available penny we can save in terms of infrastructure is important.”

Councillor Ralph Berry, executive member for children and young people’s services, said: ”In the last few years the majority of local authorities have reduced their spending in this area. We continue to be one of the highest spending on school transport in the country.”

“I would love for us to be able to offer every child a free bus pass,” he added.

“We are running out of options,” added Council Green.

Comments (16)

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3:27pm Tue 8 Apr 14

angry bradfordian says...

“I would love for us to be able to offer every child a free bus pass,” he added."

Really?? We have people running our council who would like to give free travel to people who choose to send their children to faith schools, choose to move house further away from their children's school or pupil who've done something to warrant being sent to referral units?

He makes it sound like it's someone else's money he's spending!
“I would love for us to be able to offer every child a free bus pass,” he added." Really?? We have people running our council who would like to give free travel to people who choose to send their children to faith schools, choose to move house further away from their children's school or pupil who've done something to warrant being sent to referral units? He makes it sound like it's someone else's money he's spending! angry bradfordian
  • Score: 10

3:45pm Tue 8 Apr 14

Andy2010 says...

To save £95k....thats it

Just get rid of one Strategic Governance Director and there you have the savings in one
To save £95k....thats it Just get rid of one Strategic Governance Director and there you have the savings in one Andy2010
  • Score: 30

4:00pm Tue 8 Apr 14

Not so simple says...

Agree with Andy. Sack a few directors and bobs your uncle as you've saved loads of our money and we, Bradfordians want the council to provide the children of Bradford and surrounding areas with free school transport.

These kids are our future. You've already taken away their free further education and why are you now forcing these kids to suffer in the name of education.

This council is not fit for purpose: get rid of the lot of em I say!
Agree with Andy. Sack a few directors and bobs your uncle as you've saved loads of our money and we, Bradfordians want the council to provide the children of Bradford and surrounding areas with free school transport. These kids are our future. You've already taken away their free further education and why are you now forcing these kids to suffer in the name of education. This council is not fit for purpose: get rid of the lot of em I say! Not so simple
  • Score: 8

4:05pm Tue 8 Apr 14

Andy2010 says...

Not so simple wrote:
Agree with Andy. Sack a few directors and bobs your uncle as you've saved loads of our money and we, Bradfordians want the council to provide the children of Bradford and surrounding areas with free school transport.

These kids are our future. You've already taken away their free further education and why are you now forcing these kids to suffer in the name of education.

This council is not fit for purpose: get rid of the lot of em I say!
No doubt the "problem" children with their "chaotic" parents will still be able to get a funded taxi service to get them to school because their parents cant be bothered
[quote][p][bold]Not so simple[/bold] wrote: Agree with Andy. Sack a few directors and bobs your uncle as you've saved loads of our money and we, Bradfordians want the council to provide the children of Bradford and surrounding areas with free school transport. These kids are our future. You've already taken away their free further education and why are you now forcing these kids to suffer in the name of education. This council is not fit for purpose: get rid of the lot of em I say![/p][/quote]No doubt the "problem" children with their "chaotic" parents will still be able to get a funded taxi service to get them to school because their parents cant be bothered Andy2010
  • Score: 21

5:26pm Tue 8 Apr 14

OLDLAD says...

If you live in the school encatchment area you should be able to walk to it. No need for a bus then is there.
If you live in the school encatchment area you should be able to walk to it. No need for a bus then is there. OLDLAD
  • Score: 20

5:29pm Tue 8 Apr 14

richard grant says...

PUT UP SOME MORE BUS LANE CAMERA TRAPS, AND THAT WILL PAY FOR THE BUS PASSES, AND ALSO DIGGING OUT THE UNDER GROUND VICTORIAN TUNNELS FOR THE NEW MARKET STALLS.
THATS ONLY COSTING A MILLION.

SIMPLES
PUT UP SOME MORE BUS LANE CAMERA TRAPS, AND THAT WILL PAY FOR THE BUS PASSES, AND ALSO DIGGING OUT THE UNDER GROUND VICTORIAN TUNNELS FOR THE NEW MARKET STALLS. THATS ONLY COSTING A MILLION. SIMPLES richard grant
  • Score: -12

5:44pm Tue 8 Apr 14

Albion. says...

richard grant wrote:
PUT UP SOME MORE BUS LANE CAMERA TRAPS, AND THAT WILL PAY FOR THE BUS PASSES, AND ALSO DIGGING OUT THE UNDER GROUND VICTORIAN TUNNELS FOR THE NEW MARKET STALLS.
THATS ONLY COSTING A MILLION.

SIMPLES
That "million" is from private investors.
[quote][p][bold]richard grant[/bold] wrote: PUT UP SOME MORE BUS LANE CAMERA TRAPS, AND THAT WILL PAY FOR THE BUS PASSES, AND ALSO DIGGING OUT THE UNDER GROUND VICTORIAN TUNNELS FOR THE NEW MARKET STALLS. THATS ONLY COSTING A MILLION. SIMPLES[/p][/quote]That "million" is from private investors. Albion.
  • Score: 14

5:47pm Tue 8 Apr 14

Thee Voice of Reason says...

Here is an idea. Why not stop paying the unions for a job the subs to the unions cover. Save more than £95k.
Here is an idea. Why not stop paying the unions for a job the subs to the unions cover. Save more than £95k. Thee Voice of Reason
  • Score: 8

8:36pm Tue 8 Apr 14

collos25 says...

CL VS has just wasted millions of our money at Saltaire so 95k is small fry but Bradford council is in a terrible mess and non of the councilors are capable or do not want to sort out any of the problems.
Perhaps its something to do with the fact they do want their own revenue stream interrupting
CL VS has just wasted millions of our money at Saltaire so 95k is small fry but Bradford council is in a terrible mess and non of the councilors are capable or do not want to sort out any of the problems. Perhaps its something to do with the fact they do want their own revenue stream interrupting collos25
  • Score: 4

8:39pm Tue 8 Apr 14

steve10 says...

OLDLAD wrote:
If you live in the school encatchment area you should be able to walk to it. No need for a bus then is there.
well said OLDLAD
when I was at school I had to walk or ride my push bike to school Crossflats to Beckfoot and back,
way too many pampered kids these days.
[quote][p][bold]OLDLAD[/bold] wrote: If you live in the school encatchment area you should be able to walk to it. No need for a bus then is there.[/p][/quote]well said OLDLAD when I was at school I had to walk or ride my push bike to school Crossflats to Beckfoot and back, way too many pampered kids these days. steve10
  • Score: 6

9:37pm Tue 8 Apr 14

Ratters Rat says...

Let's get a few fact correct as a parent of 3 children 2 who are in secondary school it cost me on average the following £68.00 bus passes for the month.
School dinners a further £5.10 per day or £2:55 per child per day.That's not counting uniform school trips shoes equipment.
If I don't send my children to school I'm fined £60 per child per parent
I agree with the council that all children are treated the same what ever their creed colour or religious believes and to give to one and not the other is unfair.
What I don't agree with is the council running Metro who set the bus passes. They won't tell you how much profit they make out of the bus passes. What they say is that they have to share the money with the bus companies of West Yorkshire.
They should not be making money out of children. Schools across the city have different start and finishing times. When you pick a secondary school you have to list 5 schools its not always the one nearest you that you are allocated. To walk to and from school is not always safe and many schools send warnings to parents of incidents and for young people to be aware.

At the end of the day its us the parents that are having to pay. Many families are living on the bread line.
So I make this appeal direct to the council and the bus companies and Metro stop the squabbling over money bring out a bus pass that is a reasonable price that can be used on any bus in the BRADFORD BOUNDARY so CHILDREN can get to and from school safely.
Let's get a few fact correct as a parent of 3 children 2 who are in secondary school it cost me on average the following £68.00 bus passes for the month. School dinners a further £5.10 per day or £2:55 per child per day.That's not counting uniform school trips shoes equipment. If I don't send my children to school I'm fined £60 per child per parent I agree with the council that all children are treated the same what ever their creed colour or religious believes and to give to one and not the other is unfair. What I don't agree with is the council running Metro who set the bus passes. They won't tell you how much profit they make out of the bus passes. What they say is that they have to share the money with the bus companies of West Yorkshire. They should not be making money out of children. Schools across the city have different start and finishing times. When you pick a secondary school you have to list 5 schools its not always the one nearest you that you are allocated. To walk to and from school is not always safe and many schools send warnings to parents of incidents and for young people to be aware. At the end of the day its us the parents that are having to pay. Many families are living on the bread line. So I make this appeal direct to the council and the bus companies and Metro stop the squabbling over money bring out a bus pass that is a reasonable price that can be used on any bus in the BRADFORD BOUNDARY so CHILDREN can get to and from school safely. Ratters Rat
  • Score: 4

12:40am Wed 9 Apr 14

Reality001 says...

It is the Government which is cutting money to Local Government in Northern England, while Council's in the South are seeing an increase.

You might want to ask the Government why ? Rather than blame the Councils, who can't stop the cuts being made on them.
It is the Government which is cutting money to Local Government in Northern England, while Council's in the South are seeing an increase. You might want to ask the Government why ? Rather than blame the Councils, who can't stop the cuts being made on them. Reality001
  • Score: 4

12:50am Wed 9 Apr 14

Reality001 says...

collos25 wrote:
CL VS has just wasted millions of our money at Saltaire so 95k is small fry but Bradford council is in a terrible mess and non of the councilors are capable or do not want to sort out any of the problems. Perhaps its something to do with the fact they do want their own revenue stream interrupting
Bradford Council is not in a terrible mess. Westfield have started building, money has been invested in "Get Bradford Working" which will see the creation of 400 new jobs and 500 new apprenticeships, 300 work experience places, and will get 525 long term unemployed people into work.

Bradford Council's revenue stream is being interrupted by a Government that is cutting Local Government Grants to Northern England Council's, while Council's in the South are getting increases.

Thatcher's north south divide is bigger than ever. While people in the North have to make use of foodbanks, in the South money is no object we are a rich country.
[quote][p][bold]collos25[/bold] wrote: CL VS has just wasted millions of our money at Saltaire so 95k is small fry but Bradford council is in a terrible mess and non of the councilors are capable or do not want to sort out any of the problems. Perhaps its something to do with the fact they do want their own revenue stream interrupting[/p][/quote]Bradford Council is not in a terrible mess. Westfield have started building, money has been invested in "Get Bradford Working" which will see the creation of 400 new jobs and 500 new apprenticeships, 300 work experience places, and will get 525 long term unemployed people into work. Bradford Council's revenue stream is being interrupted by a Government that is cutting Local Government Grants to Northern England Council's, while Council's in the South are getting increases. Thatcher's north south divide is bigger than ever. While people in the North have to make use of foodbanks, in the South money is no object we are a rich country. Reality001
  • Score: 3

6:56am Wed 9 Apr 14

collos25 says...

Reality001 wrote:
collos25 wrote:
CL VS has just wasted millions of our money at Saltaire so 95k is small fry but Bradford council is in a terrible mess and non of the councilors are capable or do not want to sort out any of the problems. Perhaps its something to do with the fact they do want their own revenue stream interrupting
Bradford Council is not in a terrible mess. Westfield have started building, money has been invested in "Get Bradford Working" which will see the creation of 400 new jobs and 500 new apprenticeships, 300 work experience places, and will get 525 long term unemployed people into work.

Bradford Council's revenue stream is being interrupted by a Government that is cutting Local Government Grants to Northern England Council's, while Council's in the South are getting increases.

Thatcher's north south divide is bigger than ever. While people in the North have to make use of foodbanks, in the South money is no object we are a rich country.
Read my mail fully you do not seem to have an understanding of the English language.Perhaps you are in reality a spokesperson for the council.
[quote][p][bold]Reality001[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]collos25[/bold] wrote: CL VS has just wasted millions of our money at Saltaire so 95k is small fry but Bradford council is in a terrible mess and non of the councilors are capable or do not want to sort out any of the problems. Perhaps its something to do with the fact they do want their own revenue stream interrupting[/p][/quote]Bradford Council is not in a terrible mess. Westfield have started building, money has been invested in "Get Bradford Working" which will see the creation of 400 new jobs and 500 new apprenticeships, 300 work experience places, and will get 525 long term unemployed people into work. Bradford Council's revenue stream is being interrupted by a Government that is cutting Local Government Grants to Northern England Council's, while Council's in the South are getting increases. Thatcher's north south divide is bigger than ever. While people in the North have to make use of foodbanks, in the South money is no object we are a rich country.[/p][/quote]Read my mail fully you do not seem to have an understanding of the English language.Perhaps you are in reality a spokesperson for the council. collos25
  • Score: 3

7:12am Wed 9 Apr 14

U5ern&me..... says...

What's wrong with walking? going back 15 years ago there were only one school bus it picked up in Maningham dropped off in swain house. every other kid walked used a bike or was dropped off (lazy fat kids). U didn't see many fat kids back then but now its rare to see a slim kid. I play football at goals and I know a number of kids who get dropped of but live 5 mins walk away. its a culture now of cant be bothered if I can get a lift or a free bus il be fine. either that or they are wrapped up too much by there parent as when they are playing football they wear tights (none of that when I was a kid).
What's wrong with walking? going back 15 years ago there were only one school bus it picked up in Maningham dropped off in swain house. every other kid walked used a bike or was dropped off (lazy fat kids). U didn't see many fat kids back then but now its rare to see a slim kid. I play football at goals and I know a number of kids who get dropped of but live 5 mins walk away. its a culture now of cant be bothered if I can get a lift or a free bus il be fine. either that or they are wrapped up too much by there parent as when they are playing football they wear tights (none of that when I was a kid). U5ern&me.....
  • Score: 5

8:28am Wed 9 Apr 14

bd7 helper says...

No pass means no money NO school?More kids off school!
No pass means no money NO school?More kids off school! bd7 helper
  • Score: -1

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