Travel Assistance Policy

Closed 13 Sep 2019

Opened 22 Jun 2019


The council offers various forms of travel assistance which support the attendance of young people at school, college or training, and encourages independent travel wherever possible. The provision of travel assistance by the council supports improved and positive outcomes for young people, as they are encouraged to continue their education and training.  The council is responsible for assessing the eligibility of children, young people and young adults for travel assistance to school, college and training. 

The travel assistance provided to young people is governed by the council’s School Travel Assistance Policy. The council is required to review and consult on changes to its School Travel Assistance Policy on a regular basis. Reviews or changes are required to be in line with Statutory guidance on "Home-to-school travel and transport" (for young people aged up to 18) and the "Transport to education and training for people aged 16 and over". 

The council is aware of the importance of this service to families across the borough and the need to deliver and maintain a high quality service. 

The council’s Cabinet agreed in May 2019 to carry out a review of its Travel Assistance Policy for young people under 16 and those aged 16 – 25. The review aims to ensure that:

  • Our young people are equipped with the skills which allow them to transition into adulthood as independently as possible, which starts with providing training to help them travel independently.
  • We can continue to provide a good service to our children and young people by allocating routes to passenger transport contractors based on evidence of quality.
  • We can continue to operate our own Council transport service, as opposed to outsourcing all school transport to external providers.
  • Our route running times are kept to an acceptable level.
  • Our service is delivered within its allocated budget.

Similar to other boroughs, the council has seen a large reduction in Central Government funding, and has had to make significant savings since 2010. Despite ongoing funding pressures, especially for high-needs services such as support for young people with Special Educational Needs, the council has continued to provide travel assistance to a high standard.

However, the number of eligible children and young people receiving travel assistance is increasing year on year, and the budget for 2018/19 was overspent by £1 million. This is clearly not sustainable, and while the council is not seeking to cut the budget for travel assistance, we are seeking your views on proposed changes to the policy which will enable us to continue to provide a high quality, cost-effective, and flexible travel assistance service.

Why We Are Consulting

The council is required to regularly review its School Travel Assistance Policy, which currently covers children aged 5-16.

Statutory guidance has been issued to assess eligibility for the provision of travel assistance up to the age of 25, to enable young adults to attend education and training. In light of this, we will introduce a new Post 16 Policy for young people aged 16-25.

We would be grateful for your views on this new Post 16 Policy and our proposed changes to the existing policy for children aged 5-16.  

You can participate in the consultation by:

  • Attending one of the consultation focus group meetings being held across the borough (click here to register) 
  • Completing the survey near the bottom of this page

The council is consulting on two draft policies and its draft Travel Assistance Reviews & Appeals Process - these can be accessed in the "Related" section below.

Copies of the policies, including large print, are also available at Hounslow Council libraries. If you require any further assistance, or consultation documents in another format, please don't hesitate to contact us.


What Happens Next

Feedback from the consultation will be reviewed and used to inform the final travel assistance policies, which will be considered by the council’s Cabinet later this year.


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