Support, schemes and help available to travel in Bristol and beyond.
Invoices for the post 16 contribution towards home to school and college travel have been sent out from 16 October 2023.
For details on how to pay check the back of the invoice.
If you would like to set up a payment plan to pay in instalments, call 0117 352 1404.
If you're on a low income, you may qualify for a 16 to 19 bursary to help fund travel costs. You will need to speak directly to your education provider to find out more, including if you qualify.
Help is available to make your child's travels cheaper. There are services which will allow anyone with a disability to move around and beyond the city more independently.
Travel to school and college
Most children get to school with their parents or carers, or on their own if they're older. This may not be possible for some children with special educational needs and disabilities because:
- their school is too far away
- they're unable to walk
- they're not able to use public transport in the same way as other children
We can support travel arrangements for these children. The home to school travel support page explains how children can get travel support.
We can help your child go to the nearest suitable school by:
- providing a personal travel budget (PTB)
- providing a bus pass
- providing a school bus, minibus or taxi service
- providing an escort to walk your child to school
A personal travel budget (PTB) is a payment that you can use for your child's school travel. You may be eligible for a PBT if you apply for home school travel support.
Some colleges and voluntary organisations offer travel training to help young people over 16 to use public transport independently. Their suitability for travel training will be assessed before a decision is made.
If you choose to send your child to a school that isn't the nearest suitable one, you'll usually be responsible for travel arrangements and costs.
If your child has an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan and one school is named, it's your child's nearest suitable school. Travel support will be provided if the usual policy criteria is met.
There may be times when we want to name two schools in Section I of your child's EHC plan. These will be the school we think is your child's nearest and most suitable, and the school of your choice.
When this happens, we won't provide any travel support to your choice of school.
To do this, we need to decide whether or not we should arrange travel support to your choice of school by using three steps, known as the Dudley Test.
You can contact your link SEND Officer for more information if you want to know more about:
- travel support
- the naming of two schools
- the Dudley Test
If your child doesn't have an EHC plan, we'll need to see evidence of your child's special education needs (SEN) or physical disability. This can be a letter from a medical professional.
Travel support for students 16 and over
Reassessment of travel support
When your child is 16, we'll reassess their needs. You'll then need to reapply every year until they're 19.
We may extend your child's arrangements until the school year of their 25th birthday, if it takes them longer to complete their education or training programme.
You can apply for:
- disabled young person's or disabled person's bus pass
- companion bus pass if your child is unable to travel without help
There's a range of community transport services available to people with disability, such as Bristol Dial-a-Ride and Shopmobility.
Your child may qualify for a disabled persons rail card that can get you a third off rail travel throughout the country.
There are opportunities for disabled people to get started or join a group:
- Get Cycling is a charity that provides cycles and support to special schools, individuals and community groups
- the Family Cycling Centre runs sessions during holidays for disabled cyclists
- Wheels for All is a programme that helps children and adults with disabilities to cycle
- Find local charities and organisations that help to build confidence in riding a bike in safe off road facilities on the Better by Bike website
You can find advice, support and schools offering lessons for people with a disability if your child wants to drive:
- Driving and Mobility Centre for the West of England provides services from driving and passenger assessments to specialist lessons.
- QEF Driving School offers driving lessons and advice about adapting your car.
- Eazidrive School of Motoring gives driving lessons in their adapted cars or your own.
- Motability.co.uk's scheme helps you use your Personal Independence Payment to lease a car.
- the National Autistic Society details all you need to know about learning to drive, including financial help, if your child is autistic.
Your child must tell the DVLA if they have a disability or if their condition changes. Drivers with a disability can claim disability exemption when applying for road tax and get toll concessions in some instances.
Disabled parking and Blue Badges
Your child can apply for a Blue Badge to help them park closer to their destination, either as a driver or a passenger.
You can apply on their behalf. There's no age limit and they don't need to be able to drive.
You can get white lines for a disabled parking space near your home.
All Hackney Carriage taxis in Bristol are accessible. There is no charge for assistance dogs or carrying wheelchairs.
You can sign your child scheme to Safe Places if you're worried about them travelling alone, or if they feel anxious when out. The scheme gives them a safe place to go.
Travel training service
The City of Bristol College Travel Training Service is a travel training scheme for learners with additional support needs who wish to travel independently at the:
- Ashley Down Centre
- College Green Centre
- South Bristol Skills Academy
Contact your college or education setting to see if this is something they can offer.