Students from around Cornwall have welcomed Cornwall Council’s decision to ditch the proposed slashing of a scheme that would have significantly raised the cost of travel for education in the county.
The Council had originally proposed plans to significantly alter the discretionary post-16 transport scheme due to budgetary pressures, causing an outcry among those wanting to make education as affordable as possible.
Cornwall Council told media earlier in the year that its overall school transport budget of £13million was overspent last year with the same figure predicted for the 2017 budget. It said that despite the Government’s decision to raise the education participation age to 18, it failed to provide any additional money to local authorities to provide post-16 transport.
But despite these concerns, the planned axing of services was reversed at the last minute.
Vocational and Work-Related Studies Student at Cornwall College Saltash, Harry Winters, who lives in Looe welcomed the move and said affordable bus travel was essential for his education.
“I get subsidised bus travel from Looe and I think this is a great service that the College provides,” he added.
Raoul Humphreys, CEO and Principal of The Cornwall College Group (TCCG) said the Group also welcomed the Council’s decision to avoid measures that would increase the cost of travel for students.
“It’s vital we make education affordable to all, which is why we are pleased Cornwall Council has been able to put a freeze on bus pass prices for students,” he explained.
“Many of our students rely on the bus to come to college, a journey which of course translates into an education and a career.”
Raoul also highlighted the fact that due to bursaries provided by Cornwall College, the majority of learners requiring bus passes travelled to and from college for free.
“More than 75% of our students who use the bus do so for free and those who aren’t eligible for the bursary still pay the lowest fare in the county,” he explained.
“We are determined to continue to make education accessible for all in Cornwall, so we will always welcome moves from the Council that enable us to do this.”