Controversial school transport plans to go to public consultation

Suffolk County Council's headquarters at Endeavour House, Ipswich
Suffolk County Council's headquarters at Endeavour House, Ipswich

Controversial plans which could see 3700 children lose their free school transport in an attempt to cut spending will go to public consultation next week.

The plans were finally approved for consultation by Suffolk County Council’s Cabinet at a meeting on Tuesday.

The public will now choose from three options - to only offer the services required by law, to allow those with free transport now to keep it but not offer it to new starters, or to do nothing but cut costs elsewhere.

Parents and teachers attended the meeting to highlight their concerns.

Cllr Penny Otton said: “I strongly believe that a policy change is not the right way forward, but I accept that the Cabinet has decided to go to public consultation.

“However, I challenge the cabinet to pledge that, if the consultation clearly shows that parents reject the proposal to scrap free school transport, then they will accept this and not go ahead with these plans.”

Cllr Andrew Stringer added that no evidence had been given to show that the plans would actually save money.

The consultation period will run from Tuesday, December 12 to February 28.