CHANGES TO school transport for schools in Wokingham is set to take place this September, according to the council.

The changes, intended to help the Wokingham Borough Council reduce their carbon footprint, is set to impact approximately more than 900 children living in the area.

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For secondary school pupils, there will be a change to most school coach routes to better accommodate those students eligible for travel assistance and to ensure the most efficient use of vehicles. This includes a reduction in the number of coaches.

Students from different schools will now share transport, meaning that transport is still available and accessible but the number of vehicles on the road during peak traffic times will be reduced.

For primary school pupils, many of the routes will change from September, as "the routes have been optimised for efficiency."

For some pupils, this may mean they are travelling with different children, a different operator or different staff.

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A pilot will also be taking place whereby a small number of primary school children will be picked up by a minibus from local collection points, such as bus stops, rather than taxis offering a door-to-door service.

For the more than 250 children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND), the council have reviewed all transport needs and provisions, and agreed transport for September. All transport has been arranged taking into account individual needs.

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Cllr Graham Howe, executive member for children’s services, said: “We are committed to providing an accessible and appropriate home to school transport service that is sustainable.

“The review helped us evaluate the service we provide and make some adjustments to reduce the environmental impact of the service.

"We are reducing the number of vehicles we are using, which is a key part of our journey to being carbon net zero by 2030, as well as being cost effective for our residents.

"The council continually looks at the services it provides to ensure they provide the best value for money, as we owe that to our residents.

"Through My Journey Wokingham, we already work with schools to encourage parents and children to walk, scoot and cycle to school, which is also part of our work to reduce our carbon footprint.”

The council are contacting all parents of pupils who receive home to school transport with further information on how the changes will impact their child/children. 

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