Parent calls for Lincolnshire council to review of 'incredible' travel costs for students
A PARENT is calling for a transport policy to be reviewed as students are being faced with £35 a week travel costs to study in Lincoln.
David Roark wants other parents in Horncastle to get in touch with him to build up a case to present to Lincolnshire County Council.
For most students in the town, the designated further education college to qualify for a subsidised bus pass is Boston College and this is irrespective of the student's chosen course.
Mr Roark's son, Thomas, has just started a sports course at Lincoln College and they live about a mile from the boundary which would qualify him to get a subsidised pass.
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Mr Roark has contacted Lincolnshire County Councillor Bill Aron and MP Sir Peter Tapsell to address the issue, as he fears parents in Horncastle are being put off from sending their children to further education, or would have to settle for a different course at a different college due to the transport cost.
Mr Roark said they are paying £6.90 a day for a return ticket - which works out at £35 a week and £1,500 a year.
He said: "The travel costs involved for students are incredible. There are well over 20 students that travel to Lincoln College from Horncastle each day.
"Families are really struggling to afford to pay all this money for transport to college.
"I have been informed that the boundary for designated colleges, loops just around the western outskirt of Horncastle, about a mile from the town centre. I feel it is very unfair, especially as the Government are encouraging 16-19 year olds to continue in education, that the students have to go to a designated college whether it offers the suitable required course or not or they risk getting hammered financially."
Lincolnshire County Councillor for Horncastle, Bill Aron, said many parents have approached him to try and get the council to change the post 16 transport policy or change the boundary.
Councillor Aron said: "Horncastle's public transport connects us far quicker and more frequently to Lincoln and far safer especially in the winter months.
"I am concerned that there are a lot of parents that are encouraging their children to go on to further education and that due to financial constraints some children are not attending the college or course of their choice. "
David Robinson, school services manager at Lincolnshire County Council, said: "For most of Horncastle, the nearest and designated college is Boston College. We do not take the choice of course into account when offering the subsidy – it's the nearest or designated college that counts. The policy mirrors that of the school transport policy where transport is always offered to the nearest/designated school over three miles."
To contact Mr Roark, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07740 189194.