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General information

Primary school transport

Applications will only be processed from households who pay their Council Tax to St Helens Borough Council.

Applications will be processed in accordance with the statutory criteria and/or low income criteria. The right to express a preference for a school does not qualify you for assistance to that school if it is not the 'nearest qualifying school'.

Statutory criteria

If your child is attending the nearest qualifying school* with places and the safest walking distance** from your home to school is more than two miles, and your child is under eight years of age (or three miles if your child is over eight years of age), you may be entitled to a free concessionary bus pass for them.

*The Department of Education states that a qualifying school with places is a school that provides education appropriate to the age, ability and aptitude of the child.

**The measured walking route is one that an accompanied child may walk safely.

Low income criteria

If your child is entitled to free school meals or you are in receipt of maximum working tax credit, and your child is attending the nearest school, you may be entitled to a free concessionary bus pass if the safest walking distance from your home to school is more than two miles.

If you would like further information, you can contact the School Transport Team on (01744) 671033. A full copy of the  Home to School Travel Assistance Policy (PDF) [44KB] (opens new window)  is also available to download.

Alternatively, if you think you may be entitled to a concessionary bus pass, you can print and complete an  application form (PDF) [2MB] (opens new window)  and return it to:

School Transport Team
People's Services
Atlas House
Corporation Street
St Helens

All completed applications are processed within 10 school days. If your child qualifies for a concessionary bus pass, you will be asked to send a current and appropriate passport-sized photograph of your child to the School Transport Team. Once this is received, you will be issued with the appropriate concessionary bus pass that will be valid until the end of the school year. 

A Solo pass can be used on any bus service travelling in the St Helens area.

An Arriva pass can be used on any Arriva Services travelling in the North West.

For details of supported school services, visit the Merseytravel website.

Please note: if you move address or your child changes school, you must notify the School Transport Team and return your concessionary bus pass immediately. A reassessment of your child's entitlement will be carried out and if they are still eligible for a concessionary bus pass, one will be sent to you.

Failure to return the concessionary bus pass will result in you being invoiced for the cost of the pass, from the date your child becomes no longer eligible for pass to the date the pass is returned.

Renewal and refused applications

Renewal applications

Renewal applications will be sent during the summer term for the new academic year.

Refused applications

If your child is refused a assistance with transport because they do not qualify under either the statutory criteria or low income criteria, or you do qualify for assistance but you require another form of assistance other than a concessionary bus pass, we have a two-stage review/appeals process.

Once you have received written notification that your child is not eligible for assistance with transport, you will have 20 working days to submit a written request to have your application reviewed by the service manager. Your review will be heard within 20 working days. A written response will be sent notifying you of the outcome.

If the original decision is upheld and assistance is not granted, you will be notified of your right to go to the Stage 2 - Appeals process, whereby your application along with the review decision and any supplementary information will be considered by the Independent Transport Panel.

You will have 20 working days from receipt of the review decision to make a written request. Once the request is received, the panel will meet within 40 days to consider the information. You will then be notified in writing the outcome of the panel.

Stage One Review (Word doc) [50KB] (opens new window)

Stage Two Appeal (Word doc) [46KB] (opens new window)

Lost bus pass

If your child loses their bus pass, a replacement bus pass can be purchased from the School Transport Team. The cost of the bus pass depends on whether your child has been issued with a Solo pass or an Arriva pass. If you need a replacement bus pass, contact the School Transport Team on (01744) 671033.

Privacy notice

The council has a legal responsibility to protect the data it collects. You can read the School Transport Privacy Notice.