Travel and Transport
At Suffolk County Council we provide travel for children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities for students of statutory school age (Reception to year 11) and for our Post-16 learners in line with travel policies.
Where a child or young person is placed in a particular educational setting as a result of their identified SEN, the Local Authority will advise if travel will be available in line with statutory requirements. For children of compulsory school age (5 years up to 16 years) to be eligible for SCC funded school travel they must
- Live two miles or more from the TPA* (transport priority area) school or nearest school and they are under 8 years old, or
- Live three miles from the TPA or nearest school and they are over 8 years old.
*TPA’s will not apply from September 2019
For our Post-16 students, the Post-16 Travel Policy applies, and all students must contribute to their travel costs. Travel assistance may be provided to students with a learning disability who begin a course after their 19th birthday. In these cases, agreement would be required by Suffolk County Council. All travel requests for students aged over 16 need to submit an application for us to asses via www.suffolkonboard.com/apply.
Please be aware, if your travel is required for the start of the new school year (September) you must submit an application no later than 31 May each year to ensure transport is in place by the start of term.
Some colleges in Suffolk may be able to assist students through 16-19 bursary funds held by school and college providers. You should contact your college directly to find out more.
For any child or young person with SEN or a disability, they may be entitled to Suffolk County Council funded travel however far you live from the school or college if they cannot be reasonably expected to walk to the school/college because of their SEN or mobility difficulties. If you think this applies to you, or you have been refused school or post 16 travel and have exceptional circumstances you would like us to consider further, please find out more at www.suffolkonboard.com/appeals
In addition, we provide other travel solutions as follows:
Personal Travel Budgets
Personal Transport Budgets are an alternative to the transport arrangements offered for a child and young person who qualifies for home to school/college transport. These are offered at the discretion of Suffolk County Council as an alternative to travel arrangements but certain criteria applies.
Independent Travel Training
It is our aspiration to help young people and adults to acquire travel skills, so that they can become resilient travelers when they are ready to do so.
Independent Travel Training teaches young people and adults with SEND a safe way of travelling independently that will build self-esteem and confidence. Being able to travel independently on public transport is a key life skill which lets young people and adults make choices about how they live, go about their daily life and fulfill their potential. Over 500 SEND young people and adults in Suffolk have received independent travel training over the past 6 years to enable them to travel independently to school or college, on a public bus, train or walking route.
This training has been delivered on a one to one basis, tailored to the individuals needs by our skilled travel trainers. Find out more at Suffolk on Board - Travel Training.
Your young person aged 16 can get an Endeavour Card so they can receive up to 25% discount on the cost of travel on most local bus services.
Disabled Persons Bus Pass
To be eligible for a disabled person pass you need to be a resident of Suffolk and are “eligible disabled”.
Please visit the Suffolk on Board website to find out what the criteria is and how you can apply. You can have both an Endeavour Card and a Disabled Persons Bus Pass (if you qualify).
Disabled Persons Railcard
If you’re eligible you can get up to a third off rail tickets by applying for a disabled person’s railcard. You must provide evidence of a relevant disability.
You can give National Rail train companies advance notice if you think you’ll need any help from staff.
You can also check if a station has accessible facilities.
Wheelchairs on trains
On mainline (intercity, suburban and cross-country) trains there’s space for your wheelchair. Put your chair in this space and use the brakes (or switch your wheelchair’s power off) when the train’s moving.
Your right to travel by train is protected by the train company’s Disabled People’s Protection Policy (DPPP). Each train company must produce a DPPP and you can get a copy from the company.
You can find timetables for all train services in Suffolk on the Suffolk on Board website.
Journey assistance cards
With the implementation of mandatory face coverings to be worn on public transport we understand that some customers have reasons as to why they can't wear a face covering. We have created some printer friendly cards that include other prompts which can be shown to drivers upon boarding a bus if you need a bit more time to pay, find a seat or maybe are exempt from wearing a face covering due to medical reasons.
Exemption cards are based on trust of the card user.
Cycle Allowance Pilot for 2021-23
If your child qualifies for funded school transport, instead of going in a bus or taxi could they cycle to school?
Free Bikeability training is available that checks the safety of the route to school with your child. If they are able to cycle safety independently on the road they could claim £70 a term or £210 towards a new bike (higher amount is negotiable if a specialist bike is needed to meet special needs).
Check out the terms and conditions today for our new pilot scheme: Suffolk on Board - School Travel / Travel options / Walk or cycle / Cycle Allowance Pilot for 2021-23