DELYN'S representatives are urging Flintshire County Council to rethink its policy on Free School Transport.

The MP for Delyn, Rob Roberts and Member of the Senedd for North Wales, Mark Isherwood are calling for a return to free school transport – after the local Council clamped down on the number of children entitled to use buses without charge.

Rob Roberts has met with Council officials to express his concern after the authority decided to enforce a policy - determining access to transport based on walking routes - more strictly.

The MP said: "Covid-19 has wreaked havoc with access to vital education. For months, many of our youngsters have not been able to go to school because they were effectively closed – now some of them are facing yet another problem in that free transport to get them there is not available."

Mark Isherwood added: "This Council’s interpretation of the Welsh law on school transport appears bizarre, especially given the seriousness of this for the pupils and families involved. Learners receiving secondary education are entitled to free school transport if they live three miles or more from their ‘nearest suitable school’ using normal transport.

"Whilst distances below this are referred to as ‘walking distances’, local authorities are under a legal duty to assess these routes using the risk assessment procedure outlined.

"A route is only then considered to be ‘available’ if it is safe for a learner to walk. If a route is not ‘available’, the local authority still has a duty to provide the learner with free transport to and from their ‘nearest suitable school’. Has the Council followed this procedure and, if it has, how can it claim that the routes it has selected are safe for children to walk?"

Families have told of instances where their child has been accepted into the school of their choice – only for the Council to then deny them access to free transport. They are also worried about safety issues the changes bring.

Rob added: "I understand the need for the council to balance its books and spend money effectively – but common sense should prevail. Families should not be facing additional challenges getting their children to school in what are already incredibly stressful times."

The MP has also launched a resident’s survey on his website where families can contact him about this issue. He is urging Delyn residents to complete the survey at and one of his team will be in touch.


1. The law on school transport is set out in The Learner Travel (Wales) Measure 2008 ( mwa_20080002_en.pdf). However, other legislation, such as the Equality Act 2010 and the Learner Travel Information (Wales) Regulations 2009 will also be relevant.