Discretionary Terms and Conditions

Students who are offered discretionary transport under either the Post-16 Policy or Spare Seats Policy must pay a termly contribution towards the cost of the travel. The amount you pay termly is a contribution, as the balance of the cost is subsidised by the County Council. 

The County Council has the right to remove the offer of discretionary transport under these policies if there is a student with an entitlement to transport requiring the seat or if there are changes to the route or you move to a new address, altering your access to this transport.

The following terms and conditions apply.

  1. • For the Spare Seats Policy, you can apply between 1 July – 31 August
    • For the Post-16 Policy, you can apply between 4 March – 31 May

    Any applications received after these dates will be considered late and may not be assessed in time for the start of the academic year.
  2. An invoice will be sent to you either via post or email with details on how to pay. Costs are detailed on our website.
  3. Once you have paid you will need to submit a photo for your travel pass. Details will be included with invoice on how to do this.
  4. Once you have paid and submitted a photo, the travel pass will be posted to your home address. To travel on the bus all students are required to have a valid travel Please note that some travel companies may require you to hold a separate photocard specific to their company. You will be notified of any requirement to supply an additional photograph later on.
  5. It is a requirement that all students who qualify for discretionary travel that they must pay the termly charge regardless of individual circumstances. There is no entitlement to exemption to the cost but there is an option to part pay the termly charge.
  6. Part payment
    • You are required to pay a fixed termly contribution towards the cost of travel. This will be made in two equal A pass will be produced for each instalment.
    • Once the first instalment is made, the second instalment will be required before the next half term break of that school.
    • If the second instalment is not received there will be no authority for the student to travel for the remainder of the term and transport will not be offered for the succeeding term. The school and bus operator will be notified of this.
    • The part payment scheme is only available on web payments. It is not available when paying via telephone. It is not available on offers of transport which begin at half term.
  7. Refunds for termly passes are calculated in half termly amounts. A 100% refund will be given if the pass is returned BEFORE the term it is required for has started. A 50% refund is available in respect of any pass returned between the beginning of the applicable school term up to the mid-point of the term (i.e. schools half term holiday). No refund will be made for a pass returned in the second half of the term.
  8. Refunds under the Part Payment will only be available for passes returned before the start of the relevant term period. E.g. For a refund of the first instalment, the pass must be returned before the start of term. For a refund of the second instalment, the pass must be returned by half term.
  9. Returned passes should be forwarded to the address detailed at the end of this document.
  10. If you have been sent an invoice of transport and do not wish to take the up offer, please let us know by returning the invoice without payment with a note of explanation. Our address and contact details are detailed below and on the invoice.
  11. Whilst every effort will be made to operate the transport as required, no refund or allowance will be made in respect of any day or days on which the transport does not operate or on which a student does not board the transport.
  12. No refund of public transport, or other fares incurred whilst awaiting a pass, will be made in cases where the pass has not been issued because the student has failed to submit a photo application 4 weeks prior to the commencement of the course. Students who do not give the 4 weeks’ notice requested cannot be guaranteed a pass by the first day of term (or the first day travel is required).
    The offer of transport for post 16 students may involve the provision only of a “main road” type of service that operates to and from defined central points. This provision is usually made on existing contracted or public transport services and students may need to accept a responsibility for the arrangement and in the area of the school/college being attended. Where deemed necessary, the County Council reserves the right under exceptional circumstances to make additional transport provision, including the contracting of new or additional services.
  13. The route or mode of travel offered under the spare seat policy will be as designated by the Council according to current transport contract arrangements. This means that students may not nominate a preferred route.
  14. Transport will only be from the primary address; no secondary route will be offered unless there is a court order stating a residency at two addresses. In these circumstances, the discretionary charge will need to be paid twice.
  15. A travel pass will only be valid for the term for which it is issued, and the expiry date will always be at the end of each term (or half-term in the case of Part Payments).
  16. Smoking is strictly forbidden on all school travel/sixth form centre/college transport services. Behaviour that causes damage to the vehicle or offence, inconvenience or danger to the driver or other users of the transport may lead to withdrawal of the travel facility, at the Council’s discretion. Full details on our code of conduct are available here
  17. No journey will be operated solely for the conveyance of spare seats passengers and the County Council reserves the right to withdraw the facility if it becomes necessary for the transport to be altered by cancellation or re-arrangement of the route. Spare seat travellers will only be picked up and set down at one of the approved stopping points and it will not be possible to divert or extend routes or arrange for other stopping places.

    Post 16 Discretionary Travel Policy (in addition to the above)
  18. Post 16 Discretionary travel assistance is only available to students who are residents of Suffolk attending their nearest school sixth form or post 16 centre and whose home address is more than 3 miles from it. This distance is measured by the nearest available walking route.
  19. The term “school” refers to a school maintained by a local education authority or a foundation school funded from public resources.
  20. The policy of does not extend to independent schools. The term “college” refers to colleges of further education.
  21. For post 16 students the course they undertake needs to be an approved full-time course. A full time course has a minimum of 450 guided study hours per year, approximately 12 guided hours per week, as confirmed by the school sixth form or post 16 centre.
  22. For students wishing to study more specialist subjects or courses which are not available at their nearest school sixth form or post 16 centre, applications will be considered on an exceptional basis to the nearest centre offering this programme, where this is needed to enable the student to progress. Your application will be assessed by the Skills and Learning Team at the County
  23. For post 16 students allocated to a First Eastern Counties or Ipswich Buses local bus service may, subject to availability and local arrangements, travel to school/college on any of the Company’s services on the line of route up to 1230 and home again at any time between 1230 and 1830. Students allocated to other routes may only travel at times appropriate to the establishment’s official starting and finishing time and as shown in the County Council’s timetable for the journey. A suitable Post-16 student travel service is defined as one that will enable a student to arrive at school/college and depart again at times to coincide with the standard school/college day. Any variations in the student’s timetable from the standard day will not be accepted as justification to make an alternative provision.
  24. Discretionary Post 16 passes are all “return” passes – in other words, “morning only” or “afternoon only” passes are not available. Likewise, pro-rata reductions are not permitted.
  25. Before taking up the post 16 discretionary offer you may wish to contact bus operators directly to see what ticket options they offer. Details of all operators are available here. You may wish to contact your sixth form or post 16 centre to determine if they operate their own service.
  26. Where a student, for any reason, ceases to attend the school sixth form or post 16 centre during a term the travel pass or season ticket must be returned to Passenger Transport immediately at the address detailed below. Details regarding refunds are explained above.
  27. If the course is indicated as being more than one year’s duration, the offers of transport will continue to be sent as appropriate for the length of the course, providing each term’s payment has been made. Fees are scheduled to increase annually by £30. If you have left college or transferred to a different course the invoice should be returned without payment with a note of explanation.
  28. Where a student transfers mid-year to a new course at a different school sixth form or post 16 centre a new application form should be submitted. You can apply here.
  29. In order to qualify for travel assistance, students must be aged under 19 at the start of the academic year and pursuing approved courses of full-time education. For students with special needs please see note below.
  30. For students at Special Schools and for other students who have learning difficulties and/or disabilities, transport may be provided irrespective of the minimum distance and other criteria set in these notes, where it is accepted by the County Council that transport is necessary to enable access to the education they require. Students in this category are required to complete the application form and send supporting documents for verification of their Post 16 needs (e.g. letter from Social Care/School/family doctor, etc. or copy of earlier Statement of Special Educational Needs). You can apply here. Whilst these notes are targeted for students who are 16-19 years, students with learning difficulties and/or disabilities may find transport assistance can be provided if they begin a course after they reach the age of 19 years and in such cases, assistance through the arrangements agreed by the County Council and its partners would continue until the student is 21 years of age.
  31. Students attending Colleges of Further Education who are pursuing courses such as HNDs, Diplomas of Higher Education or degrees are not entitled to receive discretionary Details of other travel options available can be found on this website, i.e. the Endeavour Card or travel options available directly with bus operators.
  32. The County Council’s transport policies are applied consistently and fairly throughout Suffolk. If we advise you that you aren’t eligible for transport and you disagree with the decision, please see if there’s anything further that can be done by looking at Suffolkonboard.

Passenger Transport

Growth, Highways and Infrastructure
Suffolk County Council
Endeavour House
8 Russell Road
Ipswich
Suffolk IP1 2BX

Tel. 0345 606 173
Email. customer.services@suffolk.gov.uk

www.suffolkonboard.com

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