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 Post subject: Freedom Pass changes
PostPosted: Tue Dec 10, 2013 10:31 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2011 9:56 am
Posts: 93
Just to let people know according to the Kentish Express on line KCC are reviewing their budgets and the Freedom Pass is yet again being looked at. The proposal is to limit travel for 11-16 year olds to £350, 16-18 year olds will have their initial cost reduced to £100 but will only have a budget of £250 on the assumption they don't have to attend every day.

These proposals are in consultation until only 13th December. Please email your views to either your KCC councillor or to KCC.

We live in a village about 2.5miles from the school our son goes to it costs currently £2.50 return with that budget in mind he would only be given travel to and from school for 28 weeks of the year but is required to attend school 38 weeks so each parent is then expected to pay on a smart card for the rest of the journeys.

Let's be clear I am not talking about social trips into town to meet with friends this budget does not cover to and from school every day of the term. For us with one child assuming no increase in fares it would cost us an extra £125 on top of the £100 freedom pass cost, if you live further away or have more than one child this could impact your decision on schools or just cause you additional hardship.


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 Post subject: Re: Freedom Pass changes
PostPosted: Tue Dec 10, 2013 12:07 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2008 8:59 am
Posts: 2001
I think the information is detailed here https://democracy.kent.gov.uk/ieListDoc ... 4912&Ver=4

scroll down to B1 Kent Freedom Pass

I've turned this into a temporary sticky.


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 Post subject: Re: Freedom Pass changes
PostPosted: Tue Dec 10, 2013 3:09 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2009 9:28 pm
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I wonder if Kent Cc have done any analysis to see how far pupils are traveling, and how much it would actually cost parents If they had to pay. When I read the figure of £350, I automatically thought that's £1 per day of the year ( excluding Christmas and Easter!).


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 Post subject: Re: Freedom Pass changes
PostPosted: Tue Dec 10, 2013 4:55 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2008 11:46 am
Posts: 421
Well, any contribution or reduction in cost has to be a benefit surely?? I think its actually quite a fair way, giving every child a same amount of 'money' on a card to travel to school with.
certainly if this is an option for getting a freedom pass rather than paying the full £520 next year then i'm all for it.
In fact, by the time they are in year 13, some are driving themselves and lift sharing so it would seem pointless paying the whole £520 for the year. paying a smaller amount to cover, say, fewer journeys, could be a good idea.
I am aware some children come from further a field but traveling to school has always been part of parental choice (for all of us) so we have to accept that some people may have to pay more after using the allocated amount.
I am relieved though it looks like the under 16 freedom pass will stay at £100 - I was concerned that might go up.

BTW, this is with respect of the 16 - 19 pass which was up for review. Obviously, the implications of limiting the 'normal' freedom pass is a whole new ball game, which I wasnt really thinking about in the above post :oops:


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 Post subject: Re: Freedom Pass changes
PostPosted: Tue Dec 10, 2013 6:00 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2011 9:56 am
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Ha ha Tonbridgemum it isn't just me that does that then!

I do agree with you about the 16-18 year olds especially in view of new legislation. In your post you are correct to a point re parental choice, we all want that, but when there are no alternatives it seems unfair that KCC shuts local schools and then decides parents have to pay for their children to travel.

The trouble is KCC need to make cuts so of course whatever they cut there will be people unhappy. It will be interesting to look at if they are cutting the OAP bus pass too with age discrimination around now.

I have logged my views that is all we can do


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 Post subject: Re: Freedom Pass changes
PostPosted: Tue Dec 10, 2013 6:09 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2009 8:19 pm
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Can't, or rather, don't want, to believe this could actually happen. For those of us with no option but for our DC's to travel 12 to 15 miles each way to school each day £350 is going to go absolutely no where at all.

Just off to google what a bus ticket from Sevenoaks to Tunbridge Wells costs - may not be back as I may be swigging gin!!!!


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 Post subject: Re: Freedom Pass changes
PostPosted: Tue Dec 10, 2013 6:15 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2009 9:28 pm
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Will it result in areas around GS increasing in price, as people will not want to travel?


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 Post subject: Re: Freedom Pass changes
PostPosted: Tue Dec 10, 2013 6:24 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2009 8:19 pm
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tonbridgemum wrote:
I am aware some children come from further a field but traveling to school has always been part of parental choice (for all of us) so we have to accept that some people may have to pay more after using the allocated amount.


No choice if you have a grammar able child and the nearest grammar school is 12 miles away!!!! Surely it's a backwards step if the cost of travel to the nearest GS would have to be taken into consideration.

Edit: Sorry if the above seemed a bit terse - responded in a hurry. However, I can only see it as a backwards step if children of GS ability from less than affluent homes don't attend because their parents can't afford the top-up. I don't know the answer but this seems like an "easy" solution that hasn't been fully thought through.


Last edited by doodles on Tue Dec 10, 2013 6:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Freedom Pass changes
PostPosted: Tue Dec 10, 2013 6:43 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2009 9:56 pm
Posts: 8228
I'm sorry I haven't really understood this thread at all. We live in Kent quite a long way from the nearest Kent non-selective, and further still from the nearest Kent grammar.

Would people from round here get free transport to either of them in the future do you think?

What do the authority statutorily have to provide? A lot of the money councils have coughed up for school transport for years has been discretionary but they haven't dared remove it because it causes a hoo haa; means testing is possible too.

Having a grammar system increases the average distance children travel, and Kent is a large county with quite a dispersed population so school travel costs much be a huge burden. Tough times all round really.

Maybe the non-selectives will go up in the world if more people decide not to travel further on to grammar schools and incur the additional cost.


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 Post subject: Re: Freedom Pass changes
PostPosted: Tue Dec 10, 2013 7:45 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2011 9:56 am
Posts: 93
My understanding Mystery is a few years ago they took away the eligibility to free school buses and made it that the distance was to the nearest school if you chose a grammar further away that was considered your choice.


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