York Council budget cuts could see end to free school buses

Some school buses could be cut as part of plans by a council to save millions of pounds from its budget.

Parents of children who travel from York to Tadcaster Grammar School are being asked how stopping the free service would affect them.

Four coaches carry around 225 students the 15 miles (24km) from the city to the school every weekday.

In September, City of York Council said it was facing an £11.4m budget overspend next year.

According to the Local Democracy Reporting Service, a council meeting was told the annual cost of the service was £184,000 and the contract was due to expire in August 2024.

Barbara Mands, head of education support services at the council, said: "This concerns a legacy provision of free transport to a non-York school.

"It does not affect Send [special educational needs and disability] eligibility or pupils who are currently receiving this service."

Noting the potential negative impact of the proposed change, Ms Mands added that if the transport was taken away it "may not always result in children attending a first-preference school and there may be a need for additional capital funding to create new places."

Labour councillor Bob Webb decided to put the decision through a consultation period.

"It's a real shame that we're having to look at things like this but austerity has not vanished, it's only got worse," Mr Webb said.

"And as an authority, we need to find £10m every year in savings and this is only a small part of that but it sadly seems that it is something we need to look at."

The consultation will be open online for 28 working days during term time.

A final decision will be made by the council's executive member.

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