Cornwall Council spends £4 million on school taxis a year
Nearly £4 million a year is being spent on taxi services for school children by Cornwall Council.
During the last academic year, Cornwall Council spent £3.9 million, almost a third of it’s £12.4 million transport budget, on driving children to and from school in taxis.
Each local education authority throughout England is responsible for its own policy on school transport.
Cornwall Council is obliged to provide transport services when primary aged pupils live over two miles away from their nearest or designated school, or when senior aged students live three miles away from their nearest or designated school.
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There are currently 1,295 children using subsidised council taxi services at an average cost of £17.33 per pupil per day.
A spokesman for the council said: “Cornwall has a high number of children who are eligible for free transport to schools. This is largely because of the geographic and rural nature of the county.”
The council has said that taxis are only used if other methods of public transport, closed contract buses, community buses or volunteer car schemes are not available.
They added: “While the total sum of £3.9m may appear to be a significant amount of money, it is important to recognise that many of these children have to be transported considerable distances to the most appropriate school or college and the £3.9m less than a third of the overall spend of £12.4m.”
Cornwall Council is currently reviewing the Children’s School and Families transport policy.