Wednesday, 10 June 2015 18:15

MPs call for school transport funding

Written by  Ruralcity Media
MPs call for school transport funding

LIBERAL Democrat MP Tim Farron has called for new transport funding so post-16 rural pupils can continue their education.

    See also: Call for rural transport investment

Mr Farron, who hopes to become the next Lib Dem leader, represents the rural South Lakes constituency in Cumbria.

He wants the government to consider implementing a Rural Sparsity Post-16 Travel Premium.

An Early Day Motion (EDM) sponsored by Mr Farron states that MPs recognise the benefits of keeping pupils in education or training up until the age of 18.

EDMs are formal motions submitted for debate in the House of Commons – although very few are actually debated.

However, EDMs do allow MPs to draw attention to an event or cause.

Mr Farron's EDM also notes the increased costs for pupils travelling vast distances to their nearest suitable centre of learning or training in sparse rural areas.

This cost is compounded by the lack of existing transport infrastructure, says the motion.

It further notes – with concern – that the increased cost of transport not covered by local authority schemes impacts disproportionately on students from lower income backgrounds.

This increased cost often amounts to hundreds of pounds a year per pupil, the motion says.

A Rural Sparsity Post 16 Travel Premium would enable disadvantaged pupils from rural areas to continue their education without fear of being unable to afford to travel there, it adds.

As of Sunday (14 June), some 13 MPs had registered their support for Mr Farron's EDM.

People in this conversation

  • Guest (Gill Goode)

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    Now that education/training to 18 is compulsory it is only right to have funding for transport. I live in the village of Wouldham a. few miles away from both Rochester and Maidstone, so hardly in the back of beyond. Unfortunately we live in Kent and border Medway so the Kent County Council bus pass does not cover Medway, and I cannot buy Medway passes as we don't live there. I would support a national scheme like the one for over 65s so some 16-18 year olds are not disadvantaged.

    from Wouldham, Rochester, Kent ME1, UK
  • Guest (Alison Prentice)

    Report

    Rural children are disadvantaged not only by cost, but availability of transport to enable them to remain in good quality education/employment. We live in a 24hr 7 day a week society, however transport for rural areas does not meet that need. Now it is compulsory to remain in education/training until 18, funding needs to match for all children, not just those household finances enable them to claim benefit. All children should be able to be supported regardless of household income.

    from Shepway, Maidstone, Maidstone, Kent ME15, UK
  • Young people are clearly disadvantaged and until they turn out reliably to vote, they continue to be short-changed by the government. This is a good call, targeting those most in need, so cheaper for the Treasury and probably relatively easy to administer by subsidising their bus passes. Lincolnshire Independents called for a voucher bus pass for young people of Lincolnshire, who were hit when the EMA grants ceased.

    from Lincolnshire, UK

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