New Hertfordshire-wide transport policy agreed for teenagers

The transport policy has been agreed at County Hall

The transport policy has been agreed at County Hall - Credit: Archant

Disabled teenagers could now have to pay more than £1,000 to get to school or college after councillors agreed a new transport policy plan which could save £500,000 a year.

Herts County Council deputy leader Chris Hayward

Herts County Council deputy leader Chris Hayward - Credit: Archant

The new transport measures for college students aged 16 to 18 will come into action from September next year.

Herts County Council’s new 16-18 transport policy aims to help disabled students and those from low income families.

Disabled students will now have to contribute up to £1,173 per year if they live between five and 10 miles from their school.

It also seeks to develop disabled students skills and help them become independent travellers.

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The policy will provide transport for those on a low income who live between three and 10 miles from their college.

If the distance is beyond 10 miles, an individual assessment will take place to see if help can be offered.

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A County Hall report estimated that £500,000 could be saved if the new proposals were agreed.

This will be achieved ‘through a combination of charging and reducing eligibility for post 16 transport’.

The county council has pledged to support young people who need help the most, such as youngsters with learning difficulties, disabilities or those with no other source of funding.

The new Getting There Travel Training Scheme will provide free training for disabled students, giving them practice and training on their journeys, alongside a ‘travel buddy’.

As well as the travel training, the developments include work experience, supported internships and training in independent living.

Councillor Chris Hayward, cabinet member for enterprise, education and skills, said: “I’m pleased that there is overwhelming agreement to the county council’s pledge to support those in most need such as those young people with learning difficulties and/or disabilities and those on low income.

“We are introducing new support to help students with learning difficulties/disabilities gain the skills and confidence in travelling independently and I’d urge students who find travelling on their own difficult to find out more.”

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