Stoke & Staffordshire

Staffordshire free school bus charge plans dropped

Plans to start charging parents for a free school bus service in Staffordshire have been scrapped.

The county council offers free transport to pupils who live more than two miles from their catchment primary school and more than three miles from their catchment secondary school.

The proposed changes have now been dropped after parents campaigned against the idea.

Debbie Swan, who started a petition, said she was "delighted".

Ms Swan, whose daughter goes to a primary school in the South Staffordshire area, said: "It was a really ill-thought out policy in the first place and it's brilliant news that the council has dropped the plans, it could have been devastating.

'Valid points'

"My petition had 2,450 signatures and it's still going."

A consultation on whether parents should pay a contribution of £380 per pupil each year towards the cost of the transport began last month.

It ended early after parents campaigned against the plans.

Ben Adams, the council's cabinet member for learning and skills, said it received 600 written responses to the consultation.

"We have listened to parents and I think many valid points have been raised," he said.

"With this in mind, I have decided to close the consultation and recommend the county council doesn't continue with the proposals."

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