Personal Transport Budgets (ClosePersonal Travel Budget) are an alternative to the transport arrangements offered for a child and young person who qualifies for home to school/college transport.
A ClosePersonal Travel Budget is a sum of money paid to parents or carers of children and young people with an education, health and care (EHC) plan or a statement of special educational needs who qualify for transport. These are offered at the discretion of Suffolk County Council where for example, the offer of a ClosePersonal Travel Budget as an alternative to a taxi or minibus, works out to be more cost effective. Other criteria also applies.
PTBs are not available for short term changes to circumstances or while your child is being assessed for transport eligibility.
The Personal Travel Budget (ClosePersonal Travel Budget) is a cash payment to a parent, carer or student instead of organised transport provided by Suffolk County Council. A Personal Travel Budget is available to parents of children and young people or students with special travel needs who have been assessed as eligible to receive home to school or college transport from the Council.
Having a Personal Travel Budget allows families to arrange home to school or college travel arrangements in a way that suits them. A ClosePersonal Travel Budget allows families to make flexible arrangements and, if they choose, to work with other families who are receiving a Personal Travel Budget.
The Personal Travel Budget is granted at the discretion of the council for children eligible to receive home to school or college travel assistance because of special travel needs. It may not always be possible to offer a Personal Travel Budget, particularly if it would have an adverse impact on a service provided for other transport users, or where it is not an efficient use of the Council’s resources. Under these circumstances the Council will arrange alternative home to school or college travel arrangements taking into account the child/young person’s needs.
How much you receive is based on the distance between your home and school, college or learner provider. This is calculated by a route planner.
Less than 5 miles: annual budget = £2,000
5-10 miles: annual budget = £3,000
Over 10 miles: annual budget = £5,000
The Council transfers the Personal Travel Budget into your designated bank account on the 15th of each month (excluding August). You can then arrange and manage your child’s travel arrangements in a way that best suits you.
We can stop paying if your child's attendance is not satisfactory but will always give you 28 days’ notice.
We review your budget each year to make sure your child still meets the criteria.
* If your child or the young person you care for moves across to Adult Services, you will need a separate bank account at this point
As long as your child/young person gets to and from school or college comfortably and safely in a way that guarantees their timely attendance in line with the school or college's academic calendar, you can spend the Personal Travel Budget in any way you wish. Previous recipients have spent their Personal Travel Budget in the following ways:
- You or someone in your family driving your child to and from school or college
- Arranging for a friend or relative to walk your child to and from school or college
- Arranging for a private taxi firm to drive your child to and from school or college
- Purchase a travel pass for an adult to accompany your child on public transport to and from school or college
- Purchase travel passes for your other children so they can get home whilst you’re collecting your child who has a Personal Travel Budget
There are many other ways you can spend your Personal Travel Budget. Its purpose is to achieve flexibility for you and your child.
If your young person is in post 16 education, then yes you are required to pay the contribution as per the post 16 Transport Policy. This contribution will be deducted from your Personal Travel Budget payment over the academic year.
Those who are offered a Personal Travel Budget will be asked to sign an agreement. This sets out the role of the recipient or parent/carer and the Council in the Personal Travel Budget process and will contain a form for completion with details of your designated bank account.
The Council transfers the Personal Travel Budget prior to commencement into your designated bank account. You can then arrange and manage your child’s travel arrangements in a way that best suits you.
You will get a Personal Travel Budget for the time that your child stays in the school/college where there is the entitlement. The Personal Travel Budget agreement is renewed each year. We will only withdraw it if:
- you move home and you no longer qualify
- the travel arrangements you make are unsafe
- your child leaves the school/college
- your child's school attendance is low (%?)
- The Council may end this Agreement for any other (which may include cost effectiveness of new transport arrangement in the local area).
If you move house or you child leaves the school, please contact passenger transport on
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Telephone 0345 6066173 (option 1)
Children become poorly from time to time, and any short periods of absence due to your child being unwell do not need to be reported to Passenger Transport. However, if your child will be absent from school for a prolonged period of time please notify the Passenger Transport team by speaking to Customer Service on 0345 606 6173 to discuss this further.
You do not have to have a Personal Travel Budget, but in taking one you accept that unless your circumstances change significantly it is expected that you will continue with it for the full academic year. If your circumstances do change significantly and you are no longer able to continue with your Personal Travel Budget, you will need to notify Passenger Transport:
Email: email@example.com or Telephone: 0345 6066173 (option 1)
The Council will endeavour to make alternative travel arrangements as quickly as possible, but this can take up to four weeks. In the interim period it will remain your responsibility to continue with your Personal Travel Budget, to ensure your child attends school or college.
Personal Travel Budgets are not a benefit. Any income from a Personal Travel Budget is neither taxable nor will it affect any benefit claim for parents or carers participating in the scheme. However, it is the responsibility of the recipient of the Personal Travel Budget to check with any relevant services that this is the case for their own personal circumstances.
The Council wishes to encourage you to control the Personal Travel Budget in a way that works best for you, so will keep monitoring to a minimum. Monitoring will take place through discussions with the school or college about your child or young persons attendance or any other issues affected by home to school or college travel.
There are situations when the normal travel arrangements that are in place cannot be used. For example, if you normally transport your child in your own car and you are ill, or the car breaks down. You will need to have alternative plans in place to get your child to school or college in these situations.
The Council is unable to provide alternative transport in these circumstances and if your child is absent due to you not being able to get your child to school, the Personal Travel Budget may be reduced or withdrawn. The recipient or parent/carer will be required to sign as part of the agreement that contingency plans are in place.
As part of a young person’s transition to adulthood, it is hoped that as many young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities as possible will have started to travel independently by the time they reach college age.
The Council may be able to help with specialist Independent Travel Training. However, many young people will still need special provision or support for their travel as a result of their needs. Before applying, and to find out who is entitled to transport in further education, please see the information on the Post -16 Transport page
If you would like more information please contact Passenger Transport:
Telephone: 0345 6066173 (option 1)