Wales

Flintshire pupils not 'left on the roadside' in bus shake-up

School bus in Wales

Children will not be 'left on the roadside' amid a shake up of school bus services, Flintshire council has said.

The local authority is cutting non-statutory transport for the new school year as it seeks to save £13.5m.

Pupils who do not attend their nearest suitable school will no longer be entitled to free travel and must either walk or buy a £450-a-year pass.

For the next two weeks, council staff will be on buses and along walking routes to help affected children.

The council will also have mini-buses on call but insists it can no longer afford the costs of current free transport, despite opposition.

"As a council, we are spending way above other authorities on school transport," said council leader Ian Roberts.

"In a neighbouring authority area, if you choose to send your child to a school other than your designated one then it's just accepted that you pay for your transport.

"With choice comes the responsibility of getting your child to the school of your choice.

"We will not have young people left at the roadside, but these arrangements will only be in place until a week on Friday."

The authority only needs to provide free transport for pupils who live two miles or more from their nearest primary schools and at least three miles from the nearest suitable secondary school.

A senior officer said the cost of providing school bus services in Flintshire is £750 per pupil, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

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