Decision to scrap school transport postponed

Blue double decker bus pulling away from a bus stop as another pulls in behind
The scheme costs the council about £200,000 a year [LDRS]

A decision to scrap a school transport scheme has been postponed.

Since 2012 Durham County Council has been providing subsidised transport to some pupils who are outside the eligibility criteria for government-mandated support.

Councillors were due to decide whether to scrap the scheme, which costs roughly £200,000 a year, on Wednesday.

Instead they decided to defer the decision so they could "reflect" on the options.

School transport is provided to more than 9,000 people in the area, including 378 pupils from nine schools who are not eligible for any council support.

These recipients pay £2 per day to use these services.

In documents published before Wednesday's meeting, officials wrote "there is no clear rationale or business case" for the council to keep funding the scheme, which runs at an annual loss.

They added that it was "over and above statutory requirements, is not provided by other councils and potentially inequitable as it benefits a very small number of schools/pupils and parents".

But deferring a decision on a proposal to scrap the scheme from September 2025, Conservative councillor Ted Henderson said the authority wanted more time to "reflect further on the options".

No revised date for a decision has been revealed.

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