I have been contacted by many local residents raising concerns about Flintshire County Council not providing free school transport to their children.
The Council have told parents that their children do not qualify for free school transport to their chosen school because it is not the nearest (by walking route) which is measured by a Council route mapping system. The council say a decision was made during a cabinet meeting in 2018 to enforce their policy strictly due to budgeting issues.
This change has left many families struggling to get their children to and from school and has only added to the anxiety for students in what is a very stressful time. It also raises the question of safety. If the council deem a walking route to be safe - but is it? In many cases not.
The law states that children must be in education between 5 and 16. Nearly all children attend school for their education. The law on school transport in Wales is set out in The Learner Travel (Wales) Measure 2008. However, other legislation, such as The Equalities Act 2010 and The Learner Travel Information (Wales) Regulations 2009 will also be relevant.
This is clearly an important issue, affecting many families especially during the current pandemic situation.
I have already had several meetings with Council officials and have asked them via a Freedom of Information request to provide all of the supporting data on which their decision was based. I will do everything I can to represent my constituents and urge Flintshire County Council to revisit and overturn their decision.
If you are an affected family, know an affected family, or simply a concerned resident who agrees that children should be provided free school transport I urge you to get involved with this campaign and fill our the residents' survey below.