School transport - sign

Nantwich parents are being urged to air their views on Cheshire East Council’s plans to change the way it funds school transport for those who need it.

Plans could include direct payments to eligible parents, only offering transport to pupils more than three miles from school, and changing its free transport policy for those with disabled parents.

Council chiefs say proposals would bring the authority in line with other councils, who have already reviewed school travel policies in light of statutory government requirements.

However, it would also save the authority £570,000 a year from its annual £8.9 million budget on school transport.

Proposals include extending direct payments, so parents who are eligible for travel support can make their own transport arrangements if this is a lower-cost option.

Also proposed is a new training scheme to support young people who have an education, health and care plan, where appropriate, to travel independently to school.

One example includes targeting 8-11 year olds, who currently have free school transport if they live more than two miles from their nearest school.

That support is only provided to journeys of three miles or more in many other regions.

Cllr George Hayes, cabinet member for children and families, said: “I would encourage everyone to tell us what they think and provide suggestions on what exceptions the council should consider and why.

“This consultation is an opportunity to influence the policies before they are adopted by the council.”

The consultation period runs from Wednesday October 18 to Friday November 24.

All the details can be found at www.cheshireeast.gov.uk in the ‘Have your say’ section or by calling 0300 123 5012.

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