Home » Consultation launched on post-16 school transport service in Merthyr Tydfil
Education Merthyr Tydfil Politics South Wales

Consultation launched on post-16 school transport service in Merthyr Tydfil

Merthyr Tydfil Council

CHANGES to post-16 school and college transport in Merthyr Tydfil are being considered by the council.

In February, the council approved a recommendation to carry out a public consultation on possible changes to the free transport service for post-16 learners with a view to exploring potential efficiency savings.

In terms of the need to make savings, the council said that ongoing austerity measures has seen a reduction in its core budget for 2024/25 with further cuts expected in the coming years.

The four options being consulted on are a cost recovering service which would provide a full saving with the costs passed on to pupils, streamlining the service to provide free post-16 transport only to The College Merthyr Tydfil or Ysgol Gyfun Rhydywaun for those choosing Welsh medium, removing the service or keeping it as it is.

It said that free post-16 transport is a discretionary service that the council is not legally required to provide.

The council’s transport policy for 2023/2024 currently states that students aged 16, 17 or 18 years on September 1, who are attending a first course of full-time study at a college/school, may be entitled to free travel if they are required to travel at least three miles in each direction – providing the student is attending the nearest appropriate post-16 provider.

The council currently provides free transport to post-16 pupils attending Coleg Y Cymoedd in Aberdare and Ystrad Mynach, Bridgend College (Pencoed campus), The College Merthyr Tydfil, Ysgol Gyfun Rhydywaun, Ysgol Gyfun Cwm Rhymni and St John’s Baptist Church in Wales and the cost of this service is approximately £96,774.

The council said it is considering options to reduce these costs of providing post-16 transport and would like people’s views on the ways in which this could be done and what the impact might be.

The council said: “In considering making any changes it is paramount that we seek the views off pupils, parents/carers, schools/colleges, Merthyr Tydfil residents and other key stakeholders on any proposed changes and also to seek any alternative proposals which have not yet been considered.”

People can contribute to the consultation online via the council web pages at  www.merthyr.gov.uk or paper copies of the consultation can be obtained by emailing [email protected]

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Two drop-in sessions will also run at The College, Merthyr Tydfil on June 12, 2024 from 4pm-6pm and at Theatre Soar on June 19, 2024 from 4pm to 6pm.

The consultation is running for six weeks from Monday, May 20 to Sunday, June 30.