Bradford Council is asking for the public’s views on the travel assistance it provides to school and college students.

A far-reaching consultation opened on 24 November 2014 and runs until 15 February 2015.

school travelThe Council has a duty to provide free travel assistance to school pupils who meet certain criteria and it can provide other assistance at its own discretion.

Travel assistance is also provided when necessary to post-16 students with special educational needs following an assessment of their needs.

The new proposed changes pave the way for a culture change in the way transport assistance is provided and the proposals are made in the spirit of giving individuals greater control over their own lives, to promote healthy living and dignity and to take account of the fact that individual needs can change over time.

There are a number of proposed changes and a few of the proposed changes include:

– using taxis only in exceptional cases and encourage the sharing of taxis

– promote the use of public transport to children with special educational needs or disabilities who travel to mainstream schools

– reduce Post 16 provision so only those on free school meals or with a statement of special educational needs or an Education, Health and Care Plan are eligible, and increase the distance criteria

– revamping the appeals system

The Council is making the consultation as open and thorough as possible because, although it is faced with the need to make significant savings, it is committed to ensuring everyone has the chance to have their say.

Responses will then be shared with Councillors as part of the decision making process and a report submitted to the Council’s Executive for consideration.

Any changes made to the travel policy as a result of the consultation will be implemented no earlier than June 2015.

Councillor Ralph Berry, Executive Member for Children’s Services, said: “The Council is facing unprecedented cuts to its budget and we need to look at how we can make savings while protecting services to the most vulnerable. We are carrying out this thorough consultation so that we listen carefully to people’s views.”

Consultation documents are being sent out by post and email and people are also invited to have their say online <>.