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Travel and Transport

At Suffolk County Council we provide travel solutions for children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities.

Children aged between 5 and 16 years old are entitled to free home to school transport if they are either:

  • under 8 years old and live 2 miles or more and are attending their nearest or catchment school
  • 8 years old or over and live 3 miles or more from their nearest school and are attending their nearest or catchment school (ages are taken as of 1 September each year)

Where a child or young person is placed in a particular educational setting as a result of their identified SEN, the Local Authority will provide help with travel in line with statutory requirements. In this case some children are entitled to free travel however far they live from the school if they have an Education, Health, and Care Plan (EHCP) or Statement of SEN and cannot walk because of their SEN, a disability or mobility problem.

The Local Authority may also consider additional support for travel if evidence is provided that a child or young person’s needs are significant enough to require further assistance. If it is agreed that help with travel should be provided this will always be aimed at preserving the young person’s independence as far as possible. 

Visit Suffolk on Board for more information.

Get involved with the personal travel budget pilot and travel training

Suffolk County Council is committed to ensuring families have information and can access travel training for their child who has special educational needs and/or disabilities, at the right time.

It is our aspiration to help children and young people to acquire travel skills, so that they can become resilient young travellers when they are fully trained and ready.  This skill is crucial to helping students to become part of their local community and prepare for adulthood.

Building the confidence of your child to use public transport is big step towards independence. Education settings around Suffolk are working with transport providers and Suffolk County Council to provide this opportunity. Information about this exciting project is on the Suffolk On Board website.

Through co-production with families and professionals we are developing a personal travel budget pilot where it makes sense to do so.  We want families to have the right choice and control, to plan and organise their child’s travel to school or college.

If you want to contribute to our commissioning of school travel in the future, you can do this by sending an email to local.offer@suffolk.gov.uk

Post-16 support

All students must contribute to their transport costs post-16. Transport 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. Visit Suffolk on Board to submit an application for assessment to see if you are eligible.

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. 

Some students may be able to use their disability living allowance to support them with their transport needs.

Travel training

What is Travel Training

Travel Training gives people with special educational needs or disabilities the confidence and skills to travel on buses and trains. Help is also available for walking routes.

Being able to travel on public transport is a key life skill. It lets you make choices about how you live, go about your daily life and fulfil your potential.

We work in partnership with Essex County Council to deliver Travel Training in Suffolk.

We offer one to one training, during which we’ll cover:

  • confidence in using buses or trains
  • personal safety
  • how to use timetables and buy tickets
  • road safety, including how to cope with traffic on major roads
  • what to do when things go wrong (e.g. the bus is late)
  • money skills

Travel Training is free for students and adults who live in Suffolk and receive the following from Suffolk County Council:

  • free home to school transport
  • post-16 transport
  • social care transport

Would you like to apply for Travel Training?

You will need to ask someone from the list below to make a referral for you using this online form  http://www.travel-training.co.uk/apply-for-travel-training/.  Please speak to your parents/carers first.

  • Parents
  • Carers
  • Social workers
  • School and college staff
  • Council workers

Disabled persons free and discounted travel

Eligible disabled people are entitled to free off-peak travel on local buss anywhere in England:

  • between the hours of 9.30am and 11.00pm Monday to Friday
  • all day Saturday and Sunday
  • all day on Bank Holidays

To apply, and find out more information: www.suffolkonboard.com/concessionary-travel

Disabled people are also able to apply for a Disabled persons rail card, which entitles the holder to 1/3 off rail fares and one other adult travelling with them. Find out more here: www.disabledpersons-railcard.co.uk

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