School Transport Frequently Asked Questions

Mainstream School Transport

How do I apply for free school transport?

There is no formal ‘application’ process for school transport. Details of pupils attending each school will be provided to the ITU for assessment in accordance with the eligibility criteria. If your child is eligible for free school transport, the necessary travel arrangements will then be made.   School Bus

What if my address changes?

If you have recently changed your address you will need to inform the school who will then notify the ITU. The ITU will verify the address against the transport eligibility criteria. If your child is eligible, a bus pass will be issued and transport arrangements made.

If you are unable to contact the school (due to school holidays), you can advise the ITU directly by completing the online form, but you must still advise the school immediately of the change once the school is open. Failure to notify the school may result in free home to school transport being withdrawn.

What if by moving my child no longer lives in the catchment area of their current school?

If you move to an address outside the local area of the school/college to which transport has been provided you will not continue to receive free home to school transport

What if by moving my child no longer meets the eligibility criteria?

If you move to an address which moves you closer than the 1.5 miles (primary pupils) and 2 miles (secondary pupils) to the school/college to which transport has been provided then you will not continue to receive free home to school transport.

How does parental preference of a school affect entitlement to free home to school transport?

If you choose to place your child in a school other than the nearest suitable or catchment school then you are totally liable to organise, and pay for the cost of transport to the chosen school. 
 

Bus Journey Information

How can I find out information about school bus times and pick up points?

Details of all school transport routes, transport providers, pick-up points and timings are available on the Council’s website.

For details of other commercial routes that are available for those pupils who are not entitled to free school transport, please visit the Traveline Cymru website. The website provides public transport timetable information and allows you to also plan your journey.

Is school transport provided from home to school?

School transport is not normally provided from the pupil’s home address but from an approved pick up point on the main transport routes|

How long should my child have to wait for the school transport?

Pupil’s are advised to be at the designated bus stop 10 minutes before the scheduled pick up time and wait up to 20 minutes after its scheduled departure. It should be noted that these are approximate times only and can vary due to fluctuations in traffic flow.Children inside school busHow long should the school journey take?

Whilst there is no statutory limit on journey length, Welsh Ministers consider that normal journey times should be no more than 45 minutes for primary school travel and 60 minutes for secondary school travel.

Can my child be transported to any other address other than the home address?

NO - Transport is provided to and from the home address or nearest recognised stop only. No other address or drop off point will be authorised.

Can my child use a different service to the one that has been allocated?

NO - Each school vehicle has an individual contract number and only pupils issued with a pass or letter of authoriastion for that vehicle may travel. Anyone else will be turned away by the driver.

If you wish your child to use a different service, for example returning regularly to another family member’s home, it may be possible to purchase a pass at a cost of £97.50 an academic year, where seats are available. If there are no seats available then a seat cannot be sold. 

Do I need to be available to receive my child off school transport?

Yes – for primary pupils only. You, or a responsible adult, are required to be available at least 10 minutes earlier than the agreed pick up and drop off times, as detailed on the school bus timetable|, to handover of receive your child off school transport.

Should parents / guardians not be available at the bus stop, transport providers are advised that pupils are to be taken to a place of safety, for example, the nearest police station or social services office.

Where parents fail to be available to collect their child, then transport may be removed until appropriate arrangements are in place for the child to be collected by a responsible adult.

Parents / guardians should also note that transport providers are not permitted to accept written or verbal instructions allowing their child to be dropped at the stop unsupervised.

Non Entitled Pupils 

My child is not entitled to free school transport, is there any other help available?

Any spare seats on the mainstream school transport service will be sold to those who do not qualify for free school transport.

How can I purchase a seat?

Seats available for purchase will be released when the availability has been assessed. It is not generally possible to make seats available until the number of school leavers is known.

Applications should be made via an online application or by requesting an application form from the Integrated Transport Unit, Sardis House, Sardis Road, Pontypridd, CF37 1DU

If I purchased a spare seat for my child in the last academic year, will I have to re-apply?

YES - letters are sent to all parents who purchased a spare seat in the previous academic year, reminding them to re-apply if appropriate.

Can I re-apply to purchase a seat at any time for the next academic year?

NO - seats become available for sale once the current academic year has finished. You will receive a letter advising you when you can apply to purchase. 

What if I complete and submit my application before this date?

Any application forms received before the release date will not be considered and you will need to re-apply from the release date. 

My child may not use the bus every day; do I still need to pay the full amount?

YES - You are required to pay the full amount, as you are reserving a seat which must be paid for, whether you travel or not.