Have your say on school bus passes

Trinity Academy in Holmfield, Halifax, where 75 pupils receive free or subsidised bus passes
Trinity Academy in Holmfield, Halifax, where 75 pupils receive free or subsidised bus passes

PARENTS are being asked to comment on plans to change the rules governing the way school bus passes are issued.

It is expected to lead to Calderdale children who attend faith schools having to pay for their transport in future.

The council is also planning to scrap transport assistance for youngsters to attend a Calderdale school where there is a nearer school in a neighbouring council area, such as Kirklees, Bradford, Burnley or Rochdale.

Public consultation on the proposed changes runs until October 19.

Anyone who would like to discuss the implications for their family can attend a meeting at Halifax Central Library from 3.30 - 6.30pm on Monday, September 24; at Brighouse Civic Hall on October 2 and Todmorden College on October 10.

The law says that free home-school transport should be provided for children from low income families attending their nearest denominational school based on religious belief - Calderdale Council currently provides transport for children regardless of family income.

The changes would not be introduced until 2014/15 but could save more than £62,000 over five years.

A total of 177 children currently receive free or subsidised passes to travel to denominational schools.

Of these, 75 use them to go to Trinity Academy, at Holmfield, Halifax, 43 use them to get to nearby St Catherine’s Catholic High and another 49 attend the Blessed Trinity Catholic College, in Burnley.

It is estimated that about one in five would continue to qualify for a pass if the council changes the criteria as planned.

More details are available from the council’s access team on 01422 392749.