Finally, there is some good news for parents: Schoolchildren who use the Kent County Council (KCC) Travel Saver bus scheme will benefit from a price freeze this year. However, even if you have used the service previously, you will need to reapply – and the deadline is fast approaching.
Using Bus Service Improvement Plan funding provided by the Government, the council is holding the cost of all passes at 2022/23 rates and is also “working with bus operators to protect bus services at risk of withdrawal”.
Prices for renewed and new passes will be frozen this year at £450 for the standard pass and £120 for low-income households. Tickets for those 16 and older will remain at £500. The cost of this freeze, KCC says, will amount to £2.5million.
However, this year the Council is using a new application system, which means that parents will need to reapply for passes by August 13 and upload a photo of their child ahead of the new school year in September.
Of the price freeze, KCC’s Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, David Brazier said: “This scheme represents excellent value for money for many young people who catch the bus to school and being able to make it as accessible as possible is important to all members of this Council.”
Roads Minister, Richard Holden added: “People up and down the country deserve a modern, reliable, and affordable public transport system. That is why we have allocated more than £35 million to Kent County Council to invest in its bus services…
“We leave no stone unturned in supporting households to deal with the rising cost of living.”
To apply for a KCC Travel Saver bus pass, you must be a resident of Kent (whose household pays Council Tax to a Kent district or Borough Council for Kent County Council services).
Only children in school in years 7 to 11, whether they go to school in or outside of Kent, are eligible.
For most children’s journeys, this pass will save you around 50% of what you might pay for an annual season ticket from a bus operator. To ensure you have a ride from the very first day of school, entries must strictly be made by the closing date.