Pre-16 transport (mainstream)


In most cases, as a parent you are responsible for your child’s journey to and from school. To qualify, your child must meet all of the following criteria:


  • live within the area where Cambridgeshire is the local council
  • be registered at his or her designated* school
  • be in or above the school year when they will pass their fifth birthday
  • live more than 2 miles (primary) or 3 miles (secondary) from their school
  • be able to complete the journey in less than 45 minutes (primary) or 1 hour 15 minutes (secondary)  

If your child has a Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP), please see transport for pupils with Special Educational needs.

Your designated school is your catchment school and/or closest school to the child’s address. (In the majority of cases, the catchment and closest school are the same school. If your catchment school is not the closest school to you, either school will qualify as the designated school).

During the school admissions process there are two occasions when a school that is not the designated school can be assigned as the designated school by the local authority.

  1. If you have applied for and been refused a place at your closest school (if applicable) and your catchment school; and your next preference offered is the ‘next nearest school' to your child’s address.
  2. If you have applied for and been refused a place at your closest school (if applicable) and the catchment school and all your preferences exhausted. An alternative school place will be offered to you by the Admissions team. (When offering an alternative school the admissions team will consider your: individual circumstances; nearest school with a place available, and travel options).

Your child will not receive travel assistance if:

  • you do not apply for your designated/nearest suitable school; or
  • they are attending your preferred school, and that school is not your designated/nearest suitable school; or
  • they are attending an alternative school designated to you by the Local Authority, but you had not applied for, and been refused places at your designated/nearest suitable school.

Full details on eligibility including medical conditions, special educational needs and disabilities and fair access are in the 'Home to school travel assistance policy' booklet on this page.

Some secondary school children may qualify for help with transport costs under 'Extended Secondary Rights for Low Income Families'. To do so, your child must meet the following criteria:

  • be entitled to free school meals or be from a family receiving the maximum level of Working Families Tax Credit (with no reduction due to income) 
  • be attending secondary school at one of their 3 nearest schools between 2 and 6 miles from their home address or their nearest denominational school (on grounds of religion or belief) between 2 and 15 miles from their home address

Apply for school transport

If your child is starting primary or secondary school in September for the first time and you believe they meet the above criteria, you will need to complete an application for transport assistance using the button below. In order to guarantee your child's arrangements are in place in time for September, please make sure you apply before the end of the summer term.

You will receive information about bus allocation and a timetable with your child's bus pass.

If you have read all the information and believe you need to complete an application form, please click the button below.

Home to school travel assistance policy715KBpdf
Size: 715KBFile format: pdf
Pre 16 school transport application 20223.54MBpdf
Size: 3.54MBFile format: pdf

Spare seats

Change to Spare Seat Process

The Department of Transport (DfT) have recently implemented Public Service Vehicle Accessibility Regulation 2000 (PSVAR) legislation requiring any vehicle of 22 or more seats, carrying paying passengers, to meet new accessibility requirements, i.e. low access, wheelchair accessible. Full information about this change in legislation is available on the website.

Unfortunately, as a result of this change in legislation, the network of transport providers in Cambridgeshire are unable to provide a sufficient number PSVAR compliant vehicles to serve all routes where the Council currently offers spare seats for purchase by families whose children are not entitled to free transport. We have, therefore, taken the very difficult decision to cease spare seat provision on vehicles of over 22 seats for children aged 5-16 with effect from September 2021.

Lost, stolen or damaged travel pass

If you have lost your travel pass, or it has been damaged, be advised that there is a charge of £8.50. A stolen travel pass will be replaced free of charge, when you provide a valid Police Incident Number.

Behaviour on a school bus

All pupils who use transport provided by the Council are expected to abide by the Travel Code of Conduct. Pupils who fail to abide by the Code of Conduct when using transport provided by the Council may be banned from using the transport for a set period. It will become the responsibility of the pupil's parent, carer or guardian to arrange transport to and from school for this period of time.

Code of Conduct for Home to School or College Travel1.21MBpdf
Size: 1.21MBFile format: pdf
Home to School Transport Code of Conduct - additional info for COVID-1981KBpdf
Size: 81KBFile format: pdf

Contact the Social and Education Transport team

Social and Education Transport Team
Box No. SH1013
New Shire Hall
Emery Crescent
Enterprise Campus
Alconbury Weald
PE28 4YE

Tel: 0345 045 5208