About the Post 16 Transport Policy Statement

You can read this accessible version, or you can download a PDF version which shows the changes to this year's policy in red font.

Brighton & Hove City Council transport policy statement for young people aged 16 to 18 in further education, continuing learners aged 19 and those young people aged 19 to 25 (inclusive) with learning difficulties and/or disabilities.

For the college or further education year which runs from September 2023 to July 2024.

We can give you this information in any other way, style or language that will help you access it. Phone 01273 293501 or send an email to HometoSchoolTransport@brighton-hove.gov.uk.


يمكننا تزويدك بهذه المعلومات بأي طريقة أو أسلوب أو لغة أخرى لمساعدتك في الوصول إليها. يرجى الاتصال بنا على: 

01273 293501 /  HometoSchoolTransport@brighton-hove.gov.uk


Informacja również dostępna w innym formacie, czcionce oraz języku - w razie potrzeby skontaktuj się z Home to School Transport Team 01273 293501 /  HometoSchoolTransport@brighton-hove.gov.uk


Possiamo fornirti queste informazioni in qualsiasi altro modo, stile o linguaggio che ti aiuti ad accederle. Si prega di contattarci su 01273 293501  HometoSchoolTransport@brighton-hove.gov.uk


Podemos facilitarle está información de cualquier otra forma, estilo o idioma con el fin de que pueda acceder a ella.Por favor contáctenos en este teléfono 01273 293501  HometoSchoolTransport@brighton-hove.gov.uk



1. Introduction

Under 19 years of age

According to national guidance on Post 16 transport and travel support to education and training there is no legal requirement to provide free or subsidised travel support to young people of sixth form age. However, councils do have a duty to prepare and publish an annual transport policy statement specifying the arrangements for the provision of transport or other support that the authority considers necessary to facilitate the attendance of all persons of sixth form age receiving education or training.

‘Sixth form age’ refers to those young people who are over 16 years of age but under 19 or continuing learners who started their programme of learning before their 19th birthday (years 12,13,14).

Over 19 years of age with an Education Health and Care Plan

Local authorities also have a duty to encourage, enable and assist young people with learning difficulties / disabilities to participate in education and training, up to the age of 25. The adult duty applies only to young people who are attending a course which they started after their 19th birthday. Where the local authority makes such arrangements, any transport provided must be free of charge.

This policy statement uses the term ‘Post 16’ to include both learners of sixth form age and those with learning difficulties / disabilities up to the age of 25.

This policy statement specifies the support that Brighton & Hove City Council (the council) considers necessary to facilitate the attendance of Post 16 learners receiving education or training.

Education or training refers to learning or training at a school, further education institution, a council maintained or assisted institution providing higher or further education, an establishment funded directly by the Education Skills Funding Agency, learning providers delivering accredited programmes of learning which lead to positive outcomes and are funded by the council, for example, colleges, charities and private learning providers.

2. Aims and objectives

This policy statement seeks to ensure that students from Brighton & Hove are able to continue in further education and are able to access information to help them to do so. This includes transport provision and financial support with transport costs.

The policy statement gives practical information about the schemes and support available within Brighton & Hove.

The council aims to have a clear policy that families understand, to enable learners to make informed choices about where to study post 16, and to signpost them to other available support as appropriate.

3. Transport and travel support

Active travel

Active Travel is the term used to describe walking, cycling, wheeling or using existing public transport to get around the city in a way that is healthy for people and better for the environment. Students who are able to do so, are encouraged to travel to school or college using Active Travel options wherever possible. Find more information and links to a variety of active travel on our How we support active and sustainable travel in the city page.  


Public transport discounts available to young people and students

Learners aged over 16 may access the following concessionary (discounted) fares, discounts, subsidies, passes or travel cards made available by transport providers.

Bus travel

The following schemes are offered by all bus operators in the city:

  • up to 4 children and young people aged 19 or under, can travel for free when accompanied by a fare paying adult or an adult concessionary pass holder. This offer applies at all times, including peak times, excluding night-time routes and journeys
  • all bus operators have introduced a 50 pence single journey tickets for unaccompanied children or young people under 19. This offer applies to off peak travel times only, excluding night-time routes and journeys
  • special deals are also available to young people who are doing an apprenticeship

To get these lower fares, bus operators accept various forms of ID.

Photo ID on buses

On services run by Brighton & Hove Buses, the BusID allows you to load tickets straight onto the card by an online account, use it to accompany a child mobile-ticket on the app, or to pay a reduced cash fare from the driver direct. BusID can also be used as an ID on any other bus operators, except Stagecoach.

Discounted travel is also available to Brighton & Hove Carers Card holders.

To apply you must:

  • support a child or adult who could not manage without this help
  • not receive payment for supporting this person 
  • support someone who lives in Brighton & Hove

Find more information on our Apply for a carers' card page.

Read more information about bus discounts for young people and bus discounts for students.

Rail travel

Discounts for 16 and 17 year olds

There are several travel discount options available to 16 and 17 year olds.

16 to 17 Saver

16 and 17 year olds with the 16 to 17 Saver will be eligible for 50% off standard Anytime, Off-Peak, Advance and Season tickets. The 16 to 17 Saver is available to buy for £30 on the 16 to 17 Saver website.

The 16 to 17 Saver is valid for one year or up until the holder’s 18th birthday, whichever comes first. However, season tickets bought with a 16 to 17 Saver discount before it expires, can be used for up to 4 months after the expiry date.

Unizone student tickets

If you’re studying in or around Brighton or Worthing, the Unizone ticket gives you unlimited travel at a discount. Read more about Southern Rail's Unizone student tickets

Young person's railcard

Young people aged 16 to 25 can purchase a young person’s railcard that entitles them to one third off travel throughout Britain after 10am on weekdays and off peak.

Students may also find the Traveline website helpful for planning any public transport journeys to and from school and college. National Rail Enquiries gives details for journey planning for those travelling only by train.

Disabled Persons bus pass

The Disabled Person’s Bus Pass offers free travel on buses at any time of day. Students of any age with a physical or learning difficulty may be eligible. There is no restriction for Brighton & Hove residents using the Disabled Person’s Bus Pass providing the journey starts or finishes in Brighton & Hove.

Get more information and the application form on our How to apply for a disabled person's bus pass page.

3.2 Travel support from schools and colleges

Some further education colleges within Brighton & Hove have their own travel schemes and parents and students are strongly advised to contact their preferred college to find out more.

Read more information about the colleges available within Brighton & Hove.

The 16 to 19 Bursary Fund

The 16 to 19 Bursary Fund provides financial support to help young people overcome specific barriers to participation so that they can remain in education.

There are two types of bursaries:

  1. A vulnerable bursary of up to £1,200 for young people defined in specific groups, for example:

    •  those in care
    • care leavers
    • those in receipt of Income Support, or Universal Credit in place of Income Support
    • those in receipt of Employment and Support Allowance and Disability of Personal Independence Payments in their own right - see the Bursery Fund link above for more information about eligibility.
  2. Discretionary bursaries which schools and colleges award to meet individual needs, for example, to help with the cost of transport, meals, books and equipment.

Schools and colleges are responsible for managing both types of bursary. Young people who want to apply for support from the bursary fund should contact their school or college to make an application. This applies equally to apprentices or those who are currently, or in danger of becoming Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET).

Read more about subsidised transport for 16 to 19 year old in education.

Adult learners over 19 can also apply to get a discretionary bursary if the learner is over 19 and either:

  • continuing on a course started aged 16 to 18 - known as being a ’19+ continuer’
  • have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP)

All students should first discuss with their school or college student support service whether they may be eligible with transport costs from this fund.

If you are a student on a low income and you have applied, but been refused any bursary funding, you can appeal to the council and ask to be considered for ‘exceptional circumstances financial support.’ You are unlikely to be successful in your appeal unless you can demonstrate that you are on a low income and that your bursary request has been refused.

Hardship Fund

University settings have funds allocated to them to assist the most disadvantaged learners to access their course. These funds are called Hardship Funds and can be issued in addition to Bursary Funds.

Parents carers or adult learners should make enquiries to Student Services or Learning Support at their university regarding accessing the Hardship Fund.

Young parents (Care to Learn)

If you are a young parent under 20 years old, Care to Learn can help pay for your childcare and related travel costs, up to £160 per child per week, while you are learning.

Care to Learn can help with the cost of:

  • childcare, including deposit and registration fees
  • a childcare 'taster' session - up to 5 days
  • keeping your childcare place over the summer holidays
  • taking your child to the childcare provider

Care to Learn is only available for courses in England that have some public funding. This includes courses that take place in:

  • schools
  • school sixth forms
  • sixth form colleges
  • other colleges and learning providers, including Foundation Learning
  • your community at Children's Centres

Young parents are also entitled to apply for an Under-19 Bus Only Ticket or for those aged 19 and over can apply for the 19 to 25 card.

4. Travel support from the council

Council support for young people without special educational needs or disabilities

Choosing where to study at Post 16 is an individual choice, but we advise that consideration is given to the home to college journey when making a decision. Please remember that the council is only able to provide the assistance that is set out in this Policy and we are unable to influence existing public transport bus/train services to fit with individual timetables.

Council support for learners with special educational needs or a disability

The council recognises that some disabled students may not be able to travel to college or further education independently and may need assistance. In the first instance, we will explore whether immediate or extended family members are able and willing to support you with the journey.

5. Eligibility for travel assistance – students of sixth form age

Journey length, rurality and the nature of the route are factors for families to consider and these issues do not, in themselves, give an entitlement to transport assistance.

All students should discuss with their setting’s student support service whether they may be eligible with transport costs from the 16 to 19 Bursary Fund.

Parents or carers must discuss travel to work experience placements with the education setting. The council will not make arrangements or provide funding for travel to work experience placements.

We welcome applications for travel assistance to young people who meet the following basic criteria, and can demonstrate that they;

  • live in Brighton & Hove
  • where they have SEND, usually they will have a current Education, Health and Care Plan (“EHCP”)
  • will be attending the equivalent of a full-time educational course (a full-time educational course is a course that runs for more than 15 hours a week.) which allows for appropriate progression
  • a placement which is the nearest suitable college to their home address, unless agreed otherwise by the council, for example a setting named in the student’s EHCP
  • are unable to travel to the placement independently

The Panel will use the following assessment criteria to consider the application:

  1.  the age, capabilities, vulnerabilities and needs of the student (using information provided by the student, family, education & health professionals and documents where appropriate)
  2.  the nature of the journey in terms of accessibility, safety, active travel and public transport options, complexity and how long it might reasonably take (the guidance sets a 75-minute guidance for young people from secondary school upwards); whether the journey could reasonably be made on foot or public transport if the student were accompanied
  3. whether a travel companion or buddy could enable the student to travel semi-independently and as ‘actively and sustainably’ as possible (but without additional duress)
  4. whether immediate family or family network members are consistently available and willing to support the student with their journey and if they have a suitable vehicle available
  5. the student's needs relating to travel for example, whether the student has complex needs, and/or requires a second person on transport; if independent travel is a realistic goal, and whether this has been actively encouraged by the family
  6. the financial circumstances of the family and potential impact of a declined application
  7. other relevant factors, for example, the health of the parent/carer and the potential impact on them to provide transport or accompany the student

Evidence to support an application for travel assistance from the council

In applying for travel assistance, you are giving the council permission to consult with colleagues in SEND and to use current documents e.g. the EHCP to help the Panel understand the individual needs and circumstances of the young person.

We may also, within reason, ask parent carers for written evidence to support any reasons given for not being available to assist the young person with their transport needs. This might be (but is not limited to) a letter from an employer or a medical professional, for example.

6. Eligibility for travel assistance – adult learners (19+ on a new course or programme)

Transport  arrangements for adult learners is set out in 509F and 508G of Education Act 1996.

If a young person applies for a course or different course after their 19th birthday the criteria set out for the 16 to 19 students applies.

The panel will use the following assessment criteria to consider the application:

  1. the age, capabilities, vulnerabilities and needs of the student (using information provided by the student, family, education and health professionals and documents where appropriate)
  2. the nature of the journey in terms of accessibility, safety, active travel and public transport options, complexity and how long it might reasonably take (the guidance sets a 75 minute guidance for young people from secondary school upwards);  whether the journey on foot or public transport could be reasonably made if the student is accompanied
  3. whether a travel companion or buddy could enable the student to travel semi-independently and as ‘actively and sustainably’ as possible (but without additional duress)
  4. whether immediate family or family network members are consistently available and willing to support the student with their journey and if they have a suitable vehicle available
  5. the student's needs relating to travel for example, whether the student has complex needs, and/or requires a second person on transport; if independent travel is a realistic goal, and whether this has been actively encouraged by the family
  6. what funding is available for transport from the learning provider (there is an expectation the learner has actively applied); what other funds the learner can access, whether the adult learner is receiving PIP with the mobility component as a means securing independent travel
  7. advice from the college, for example, whether independent travel training is taking part as part of the programme
  8. what arrangements have been considered or tried and why they are not suitable
  9. other circumstances relevant to each case

Evidence to support an application for travel assistance from the council

The following evidence may be required in addition to an application for travel assistance:

  1. recent evidence from a relevant health and/or educational professional regarding the SEND of the adult learner and how this impacts on the need for travel assistance, their ability to walk or travel on public transport, accompanied or otherwise
  2. a copy of the adult learner’s care and support plan (if applicable)
  3. where the parent or carer is stated as being the primary carer or advocate for the adult learner, further evidence may be required regarding the support with transport (if any) they are able to provide and when. In the case of adult learners, if the council agrees transport is necessary it will be provided free of charge.

7. Low income

For sixth form age students with low income applying for travel assistance they or their families must be receiving one of the following benefits or tax credits:

  • Free school meals
  • Income Support
  • Income Based Job Seekers Allowance
  • Income related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Child Tax Credit (provided you’re not also entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190)
  • Working Tax Credit run-on – paid for four weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
  • Universal Credit (provided you have an annual net earned income of no more than £7,400, as assessed by earnings from up to three of your most recent assessment periods)
  • eligible students will be reimbursed by calculating the cheapest available fare for the journey and paying those expected costs which exceed the first £10.80 per week. As a Saver ticket bought with a Bus ID Card allows travel across the city for less than £10.80 per week, this means that, in normal circumstances, help is not offered to students attending colleges within Brighton & Hove

The definition of a family on a low income may be changed following the government's review of the benefit system or future guidance.

Determining whether you are receiving maximum Working Tax Credit

When tax credits are first awarded, or following a change in household circumstances, HM Revenue and Customs issue a ‘tax credits award notice’ detailing the breakdown and amount of the award.

Part two of the award notice gives details of ‘How we work out your tax credits’ including details of the full WTC elements. This is the maximum amount a customer can receive in WTC in any year.

It then lists ‘any reduction due to your income’ and shows the net amount payable. It is therefore readily apparent from the award notice whether a person is receiving maximum WTC or a reduced sum due to income. Where there is a reduction due to your income in this section then you would not qualify for travel assistance.

The figure for any reduction due to your income must be £0.00 to be in receipt of the maximum level of Working Tax Credit.

If you present a review notification (TC603R), this should show a maximum income of £6,420 to evidence you are in receipt of the maximum level of Working Tax Credit

Our Welfare Rights Team can help with questions and problems on a range of social security benefit and tax credit issues. If you need advice on your right to claim benefits you can:

8. Type of help given

Young people assessed as requiring assistance will be risk-assessed for their immediate needs and the most cost-effective suitable mode of travel support will be arranged.

For students who can access public transport, a journey time of up to 75 minutes each way is considered reasonable according to national guidance for best practice.

Where an applicant is assessed as eligible for SEND travel assistance, the type of travel assistance provided will be the most cost-effective available to the council at the time, appropriate to the student’s needs.

This may be one of the following:

  • a Personal Travel Budget (PTB) ( option of a Personal Travel Budget (PTB) 
  • a travel pass, for example bus or train travel cards
  • a mileage payment, currently at 52p per mile, four journeys a day
  • a place on a contracted vehicle

Taxis will usually only be provided if necessity is proven and for students with severe disabilities and/or the most complex health needs.

9. Vehicle Passenger Assistants (VPAs)

The role of a VPA will be to provide general supervision and ensure a safe and comfortable journey.

VPAs are not normally supplied on transport provided for Post 16 students except in cases where they are, in the council’s view, necessary to meet a student’s individual needs or the combined needs of a group of students.

VPAs will only be provided to meet more complex individual needs, such as medical or health requirements, where there is supporting evidence confirming that such support is necessary to ensure a student’s safe journey to and from their learning/training establishment. We will use Pupil Travel Information Forms as well as other supporting information to ensure we have a full understanding of the needs and vulnerabilities and where the council assesses one is required, a VPA will be provided.

10. Service limitations

The council does not provide travel assistance to work experience placements, medical appointments or other off-site visits. Responsibility for this remains with the parents or carers, or school or college as appropriate.

Transport assistance is only ever provided to one address. If there is a 50/50 split of residence under a court order, the household receiving any child benefit, or student’s own benefit, would be considered the main address.

Students doing apprenticeships should apply to their employer or learning provider to have reasonable travel expenses met.

Students wishing to undertake a new course at the same or similar level to a level of qualification already achieved may not necessarily be successful in their application for travel support.

The council do not normally offer assistance to students taking part-time courses. However, students who feel they may have an exceptional case may put this in writing and return an application form for special consideration.

Assistance is not given for attendance at private schools or colleges, unless named in the EHCP.

Students looked after by the local authority must use same eligibility criteria as other children and students. However, arrangements should be made and funded by the carer, as funding for this is provided in the allowances paid by the council’s fostering teams (agencies and in house) to carers.

If a student chooses to change career direction or course this may affect their eligibility for travel assistance.

Following successful application and individual assessment, we will write to you and set out which option(s) we are able to offer and what you should do if you wish to take up the travel assistance that has been allocated.

11. Review of eligibility

Travel assistance is agreed on an annual basis.

In every case, travel assistance will be reviewed following a house move, change in placement or course, or a change in the student’s needs (condition, medication or equipment) or any other change in circumstances which may be relevant.

Following an incident on school or college transport, it may be necessary to stop provision until a further risk assessment has been carried out to make sure that the student can be transported safely. If this occurs, parents or carers will be responsible for transport and costs until the situation has been resolved.

Eligibility for transport support is determined by the Home to School Transport Eligibility Panel. Learn how Home to School Transport process applications.

Travel assistance will not be withdrawn during an academic year, except where a programme of independent travel training has been completed successfully or a student’s circumstances have changed significantly

12. How to apply for transport support

Once a place at college has been secured, apply for travel assistance. We have set a deadline of 31 May to enable us to make arrangements for the September start. We are able to guarantee that travel assistance support will be in place for the start of the academic year if applications are received after this date.

If you are transferring into a college during the academic year you can also apply, and we aim to assess and provide a decision on mid-year applications within 7 working days, and to have arrangements in place within 5 working days of the decision.

Applicants must use on our online form found at Apply for help with home to school transport.

If you need help to understand this policy or further support to apply for travel assistance, phone on 01273 293 501 or send an email to Post16Transport@brighton-hove.gov.uk.

You may also wish to talk to Amaze SENDIASS: For families with disabled children and young people in Sussex:

Their advice line is open Monday to Friday 9.30am to 5pm. You can leave a message at any time, and someone will get back to you.

13. Right of review or appeal

Any applicant who has been refused assistance with travel is entitled to ask for a review of the decision. Any request for review should be made in writing or by email to the Post 16 Transport Team within 20 working days of the council’s decision.

Within 20 working days of receipt of the applicant’s request a senior officer within the council will review the decision under a Stage 1 Appeal.

If the applicant is unhappy with the outcome of the review, they have 20 working days in which to appeal further to an independent panel of officers, under a Stage 2 Appeal. The panel will be made up of three officers of the council who had no involvement in the original decision to decline help with transport.

The appeal panel will review the appeal within 40 days of receipt of the request. The panel does have the power to reach a different decision in individual cases.

The applicant has the right to make a complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman (LGO) if they consider that there was a failure to comply with the procedural rules or if they consider there to have been any other irregularities in the way the appeal has been handled.

The internal review/appeal process must be completed before making a referral to the LGO.

Learn more about our appeals process.

14. Complaints

If an applicant is unhappy with any aspect of the transport service, they should talk to the Home to School Transport team on 01273 293 501 or send an email to Post16Transport@brighton-hove.gov.uk

You can read more on our how to make a complaint page.

If the applicant complains about transport to the school or college, the school or college will inform the council and ask them to investigate the complaint. If a complaint about a transport provider is upheld, appropriate disciplinary action will be taken by the transport provider or in extreme cases the contract with a transport company may be terminated.

15. Consultation

Each year local authorities are required to consult young people of sixth form age and their parents as well as other stakeholders on the Post 16 Transport Policy statement before it is finalised.

The policy could be changed in the future and the current support available does not amount to a legitimate expectation that it will continue to be offered.