The Labour group which runs Northumberland County Council says it is sympathetic to those affected by the decision to cut free transport to education for post 16s and insists it had to make “tough choices” after the government slashed the council budget by a third, with more cuts to come.
A spokesperson said: “Our plan leaves a £900,000 ‘parachute’ payment to allow schools and colleges to work out a local solution to the post 16 transport issue.
“It’s with reluctance that we have to revisit a policy which hasn’t changed since its introduction in 2008. Since then demand has increased by 323% yet funding has fallen by a third.
“While we are sympathetic to how the decision has affected families we will continue to protect the most vulnerable and disadvantaged young people and the ‘parachute payment’ will allow post-16 establishments to plan ways to get young people to their courses.”