Please note the following 2 consultations that are open until 28th October (Home to School) and 9th December (Essex Bus Services) respectively.

Home to School Transport Consultation

On Monday 16 September, Essex County Council began a six week formal public consultation into the discretionary elements of its home to school transport policy.

The local authority currently spends over £25million on ensuring children across the county can attend school.  However, maintaining expenditure at this level in the current financial climate is unsustainable and the council is looking at where efficiency savings can be made.

The authority has a number of statutory responsibilities around the provision of home to school transport which are not affected by the consultation, however a number of the discretionary elements of the existing policy are under review. These include consulting on:

  • Changing the reference to catchment area within the home to school transport policy and removing the use of Joint Catchment Areas
  • Removing existing transport from routes which are now deemed safe walking routes
  • Withdrawing the provision of transport to families on a low income whose child(ren) attend a selective school
  • Introducing a means tested assessment for transport provided to pupils in exceptional circumstances
  • Introducing a new application window for Home to School Transport applications
  • Reviewing existing Post 16 transport provision

For more information and to take part in the survey visit http://www.essex.gov.uk/schooltransport. [website no longer available]

The consultation is available by visiting http://www.engageessex.org.uk/essex %5Bwebsite no longer available]

To submit further comments complete the questionnaire or email schooltransportconsultation@essex.gov.uk

Consultation on bus services run by Essex County Council

On Monday 16 September, Essex County Council (ECC) began a twelve week formal public consultation which includes how it provides financial support to local bus services.

The local authority currently pays £7.9 million for nearly 200 local bus services which generally run in the evenings, on Sundays or in rural locations.

The authority is keen to ensure the bus services it provides meet, as far as possible, the essential travel needs of Essex residents and also offer the best value for taxpayers. However, maintaining expenditure at this level in the current financial climate is unsustainable and the council is looking at where efficiency savings can be made.

The consultation is asking residents about their travel needs and what types of services are most important to them, but the consultation is not looking at individual bus services at this stage.

The consultation, plus all accompanying literature and documentation, including a comprehensive list of the bus services paid for by ECC, is available on http://www.essex.gov.uk/busreview.  The consultation will close on Monday 9 December. Copies of the consultation will also be available through libraries or by calling 0845 603 7631

Please note, there will be further consultation and opportunities to comment on the draft bus strategy when it is completed.  Once the new strategy has been finalised it there will be a series of area reviews across the County to allow services in each area to be looked at in the light of the new strategy.  Any changes are intended to be implemented between September 2014 and September 2015.

More travel and transport news is in this newsletter.

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