Devon

Free bus transport for Devon primary schools saved

School children in Devon will continue to receive free bus transport to and from school following a consultation.

Devon County Council (DCC) discussed the future of its discretionary transport budget as part of plans to save £50m by next year.

The council said eight to 11-year-olds living two miles from school would continue to receive free transport.

But DCC is yet to make a decision on whether students aged over 16 should receive a transport subsidy.

The Conservative-led council considered raising the transport requirement for primary aged students to three miles, which would have saved the council about £150,000, but the council decided against it.

DCC said it was unable to make a decision about transport for college students who currently qualify for a transport subsidy.

Principal of Exeter College , Richard Atkins said: "I'd urge them to think very, very carefully about making any cuts.

Public consultation

"If they had to make any cuts, personally, I would look at making them on an equitable basis and not singling out a group such as 16 to 18-year-olds."

Leader of the council, John Hart, said: "We're now going to consult with the general public on how we can do the services better to save money."

Students at faith and grammar schools will also retain their free transport, if it is already being being provided for them.

But the council will decide whether those choosing to attend such schools in the future will qualify for the service.

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