We would like to share an exciting new proposal that we have been rolling out in some Suffolk Schools in the last few months.

What is the scheme?

Suffolk County Council is working in Partnership with Essex County Council who has been delivering a very successful Travel Training scheme in Essex for over 10 years.  We have a contract with Essex County Council within Suffolk to deliver travel training to students in schools and colleges with additional needs.

This has a particular focus on preparing students for travel to College or Sixth Form, but for many students independent travel could be a reality long before this.

What is new?

We have expanded the scheme for adults with Learning Disabilities to help them to attend their learning centres around the county using public transport.

Is it for me?

The scheme will see approved trainers work one to one with students/adults over a number of weeks to train and assess their ability to make the journeys. Only if they feel that they are safe to make a journey will the trainers “sign off” them off.

How much does it cost?

There is not normally a cost to the student/adult, parent/carer, school or learning centre for travel training as long as the training has been approved once a referral has been submitted.

Want to find out more?

For more information about the travel training scheme email transporttraveltraining@suffolk.gov.uk

Try a train day

150 students from 7 Essex schools participated in a travel training day from Colchester to Clacton. It was in partnership the Travel Training Team from Essex/Suffolk County Council and Greater Anglia and was a great success.

Page last updated: Friday 11 January 2019

Travel training days

Try a train day (external)


“Conor has benefited brilliantly from the travel training. He doesn’t think twice about jumping on the buses every day. He is full of confidence and this is a vital life line for him. Many thanks for your help.”

Parent of twins

“I first heard about Essex travel training at my children's school. As we are in Suffolk I had not heard of this service before. We were given a talk by Teresa and her boss who explained what they do with travel training.
You have to have a referral to use the service which the school were happy to do.
Teresa then got in touch and arranged a visit to home where she talked in more detail what she would like to do with the boys. She visited weekly and would take each child out in turn and explained all about road safetyCloseYou consider that the nearest available walking route is unsafe for an accompanied child pedestrian to their nearest or catchment school, stranger danger and any other topic which was relevant to my children. Training is tailored to each child and their needs. Everything is talked about before so you are fully aware of what and how your child is doing.
My boys got to the bus stop and got on/off bus independently. At the end of travel training your child will receive a certificate of their achievement. I would recommend Essex travel training for any child wanting to be that bit more independent.”

Alicia’s Mum

“Hi l would like to let you know what a wonderful opportunity for my daughter to do travel training. It has given her confidence and independence, she now travels to and from college and occasionally into town to meet a friend. Theresa really helped Alicia gain confidence and how to overcome any problems and put into place really good strategies for her. I would highly recommend giving it a go as it could be a new lease of life.” Mother of a daughter on the autistic spectrum.


“Hi my name is Alicia I went travel training with Theresa and it was really good it made me get more confident in travelling on my own and helped me how to get there and back from college I really enjoyed it so thank you Theresa for helping me with my travel training”

Student support manager

“I just wanted to thank you for all the hard work you and your team have put into the Travel Training programme here at One. I have had many positive comments from parents during Annual Review meetings including from one young lady who has grown in confidence and self-esteem and says this is due to her increased independence. Another young lady has benefitted in many ways from the scheme. I know the teacher involved with travel training has been impressed with the students, the organisation and communication you continue to show.”


"George is 16yrs old, is Autistic with a speech impediment and had never travelled independently until he started college in September. George has benefited so much from the travel training he received from Mary from the Travel Training Team. I was very concerned about him using the bus independently but there was no need to have worried, since his training in July he has become so much more independent. Not only does he use the bus to get to and from college he also catches the bus into our local town and to visit family. I cannot praise Mary and the Travel Training Scheme highly enough."

Mum anon.

"It is reassuring although I was anxious the first couple of times. It is reassuring knowing that you have been through different "what if's" with Emily, things that I couldn't think of! The communication is reassuring too."

Daughter anon.

"I felt safe with Allison and I don't think that I could have managed the train and the bus without Alison's help. The bus is more tricky but I have been ok. I look for the special buildings so that I know when to get off. I feel a little calmer after my training although I do still worry sometimes."

Suffolk ONE

"Students at One college enjoyed a presentation from Travel Training back in September 2016. The team presented a charismatic and enthusiastic approach, telling students that learning how to travel to and from College and within other areas would benefit them and give them greater independence. Theresa and Bree were our instructors and immediately they gained a fantastic rapport with students, staff, and their families; they have very much become part of One College and a familiar sight within Foundation Learning. Travel Training has given many of our students increased confidence and independence, it has been very rewarding for them and we are proud of their achievements too. We look forward to another successful year next year; thank you Travel Trainers!"

Mum anon.

"This note is to say thank you very much for giving my son the opportunity to have travel training over the past months. This has been an invaluable service resulting in him being signed off last week fully proficient in using the public bus to travel to and from college. This has not only given him the confidence to actually travel on the bus by himself but has taught him so much more about keeping safe, stranger danger and coping strategies should something go wrong. It has also boosted his feelings of being more independent and for being more ready to move on into adulthood and the challenges ahead. Thank you for your support and for helping him to succeed."


"We would like to thank you for the support and training my son has received. From home to school in Bury St Edmunds by Bus, then as he transferred to Suffolk New College Ipswich by train, then walk twenty minutes to college. To think how nervous and worried we were because of the issues he has with Autism and speech and language, but each stage was assessed and repeated until he was confident to travel alone. We are so proud of  him, this has boosted his confidence. I would recommend the training to any Parent, to encourage their child to gain independence."

Mum anon.

"We just wanted to let you know how well things are going with my son’s travelling to Suffolk One. It is totally unbelievable how well he is coping with the journey from Saxmundham to college. Six months ago we worried about Nathaniel walking in to our small market town on his own, in fact he only did this a couple of times and we worried about him walking to the end of the road to the post box due to what we believed was his unawareness of crossing the road.
He has been at Suffolk One for four weeks now and he walks down to the station, gets on the train & the bus and then reverses it at the end of the day, he even helps other students and tells them when they are on the wrong platform. We have to say that this is all thanks to you, you offer a brilliant service which I think more people should be aware of, it was strange letting him go off with a total stranger but we also had a strange feeling of comfort that everything would be alright. You have been a star and we all look at you as a friend, you have given him the confidence he & we needed to complete the journey to and from Suffolk One safely, something we were very concerned about.
We hope lots of other students and parents will benefit from the fantastic service you offer.
I should have also said that Nathaniel's independence has increased 100% since his travel training with you and that both he & I would be very, very willing to speak to anyone direct or to meet them for reassurance. We cannot express what a brilliant service you offer!"

Stone Lodge Academy

"This is the first year that we have extended our travel training work in a collaborative venture with your-selves and it has been very well received. Your staff are all friendly, enthusiastic, and always willing to work around our busy school schedules. The students feel important when it is their turn and enjoy learning to travel independently. We have seen great pride in our students when they complete their training and begin to come to and from school by themselves. This has also spilled over into their general self-esteem and some students have shown a tangible increase in their confidence in class. The train event was also a great success, especially as for some students this was their first ever journey of this kind. As a school we very much hope that this relationship can continue to grow from strength to strength and many more students will benefit from your dedication to their travel safetyCloseYou consider that the nearest available walking route is unsafe for an accompanied child pedestrian to their nearest or catchment school."

Daughter anon.

"I felt safe with Allison and I don't think that I could have managed the train and the bus without Alison's help. The bus is more tricky but I have been ok. I look for the special buildings so that I know when to get off. I feel a little calmer after my training although I do still worry sometimes."

Parent anon.

"It is reassuring although I was anxious the first couple of times. It is reassuring knowing that you have been through different "what if's" with Emily, things that I couldn't think of! The communication is reassuring too."

Parent anon.

I would like to say how very grateful I am to Alison for her sterling work in training my son to successfully learn how to travel safely to and from college.
At the beginning of his training I was unsure if this level of independence was a goal that was achievable for him, but with Alison's consistency, patience and positive encouragement towards my son he has succeeded!
I am very proud of my sons hard work and amazed to see the change in his confidence now that he has this skill. I am also extremely impressed by the high level of care and detail in the training given by Alison.
Alison has a great rapport with her students and can really bring the best out in them, she is a credit to the travel training team!
I would highly recommend any parent of a child with special needs giving them the same opportunity.

Parent anon.

I would like to express my deep appreciation of the Travel Training Scheme provided to my 17 year old teenager (who has multiple complex needs, including Aspergers - further, he has an Education and Health Care Plan in place).  He has recently successfully completed his travel training with Bree.  I was very pleased to note that Bree was always punctual and entirely flexible:  willing accommodate the needs of my teen. She worked at all times to support my teen to do the travel training at his pace.  I highly commend her approach.
Initially I was very doubtful that my teen was even ready for travel training.  However, when I finally overcame my worries, and decided to let my teen have a go - which means I was firm with him, and said he had to have a go -  I realised that the dependency that he's always shown with me and travelling, was somewhat less with his Travel Trainer, Bree. My teen can now mostly navigate the predictable 2 bus routes to and from his college. Recently however, he had a panic attack half way through his journey to college, and he phoned me to moan that he wanted to come back home, and could he please not bother going to college that day.  
For a few brief seconds my ‘mummy’ strings were being heavily tugged at, and I wanted to give in to him.  But I was resolved, and gave him clear instructions, and encouraged him by saying that it was not acceptable to return home, because he was halfway to college, and we both knew he could do it, and he would be fine.  The buses were regular and often, and all he had to do was wait a little.  About two minutes after this phone call, my teen texted me to say he was on his next bus to college, and he was only a few minutes late to college that day.
‘Whew!’ I thought, another little drama sorted; and, another little step for my teen on his path to a somewhat more independent adulthood.
I am grateful to the Travel Training Scheme, to Annette who organised it for us, and to Bree for all of her work and early morning starts.

Thank you

A grateful mother.

Testimonials poster (PDF 339KB)

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