England

County Durham school transport changes approved

A shake-up of school transport in County Durham, which will save £6m over four years, has been approved.

Durham County Council's cabinet agreed the changes following a major consultation.

Among the changes will be cutting subsidised transport for post-16 students and cutting free transport for pupils attending faith schools.

The changes will only affect new applicants and not those already receiving free transport.

Pupils who receive free school meals and those who cannot travel independently will still be entitled to free transport.

'Significant reductions'

The post-16 changes will come into force for new applicants from September.

The faith school transport changes will start in September 2012.

The cabinet said it would look at setting up a self-financing concessionary transport scheme.

The idea would be to keep home to school transport for those attending faith schools and for rural schools and communities.

Council cabinet member for children and young people's services Councillor Claire Vasey said: "Unfortunately, due to significant reductions in government funding, the council must make substantial savings over the coming years.

"While we have sought where possible to achieve savings within non front-line services, it is regrettable that we must also look to reduce our spending on home to school transport."

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