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5 July 2013, 06:00
Oxfordshire County Council's giving parents an extra 10 days to comment on changes to free school transport from September 2014.
The council says it is bringing its policy in line with neighbouring councils and reduce its annual bill. Lat year the programme cost the authority £14 million.
The consultation has been extended to July 15 because of a high level of public interest.
At the moment the council offers free transport for all children under eight, to their nearest school or their catchment school if they live more than two miles from school, and all children over eight who live more than three miles from school, regardless of whether the catchment school is the closest to the child’s home.
Free transport is also provided for shorter journeys where it would be unsafe for an accompanied child to walk to school.
Under the new proposal, the council would continue to offer free transport on the same basis, but only for those children who attend the nearest school.
One of the changes would see an increase in the charges for concessionary travel and post 16 travel in 2014/15 to £290.40 (£96.80 per two terms of the 6 term year) for those who live under 3 miles from the school attended and £541.20 per annum (£180.40 per two terms of the 6 term year) for those who live over 3 miles from the school attended.
The proposal would become active in September 2014, which means new starters at primary and secondary schools for September 2013, will not be affected
It is estimated the council would make an annual saving of at least £340,000 after a five-year period.
A decision on the proposal is due to be made by the council’s Cabinet on July 16.