Free school transport faces cutbacks in Portsmouth

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A CONSULTATION on how home-to-school and college transport is provided by Portsmouth City Council will end this month.

The legal responsibility for a child’s transport to and from school rests with their parent or carer. In Portsmouth, 98 per cent of transport is arranged by parent or carers.

But around 750 children receive free transport assistance from the council, costing more than £1.9m a year.

The authority says it has been looking at how this money is spent to ensure it is affordable. The budget for home-to-school and college transport has been overspent for a number of years.

It is proposing to restrict free transport to where it legally has to, except in ‘exceptional circumstances’.

There are some groups – such as children with special educational needs and who live over two miles for primary aged children and three miles for secondary-aged children – who could no longer receive transport to school.

The consultation on what the authority is looking to do runs until January 24.

Feedback will be taken to councillors on March 3, and they will make a final decision.

To take part in the consultation, portsmouth.gov.uk/learning/31091.html.