Personal travel budgets

A personal travel budget is provided to parents or carers of children and young people with Special Educational Needs (SEN) who are eligible for travel assistance. It allows families to:

  • make flexible arrangements
  • monitor the quality of their child’s transport directly
  • work with other families to achieve the best possible travel arrangements for their children

A personal travel budget will help you to arrange your child’s home to school travel arrangements in a way that suits your personal circumstances. The payment is designed to help you make any arrangements needed to allow your child to attend school.

You can use the budget to make sure that your child attends school every day and is able to arrive on time and ready to learn. You could use the budget:

  • towards covering the cost of running a family car
  • to arrange help from a family member or friend to assist with childcare, enabling you to make the journey

Benefits of a personal travel budget

A personal travel budget:

  • provides freedom and flexibility for your family to choose the most appropriate travel arrangements for your child that best fit your personal circumstances
  • provides choice and control over how funding is used to get your child to and from school on time in a way that suits you, your child and your family
  • makes sure that resources are distributed in a fair way according to need
  • allows you to explore opportunities to share with other parents and potentially increase your buying power
  • offers families an alternative to the traditional services that the council can provide
  • provides parents with a direct link to the school and more frequent opportunities to discuss their child’s progress with teachers that they may not have previously had

Who is eligible

A personal travel budget is available to children and young people who have:

  • an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP)
  • been assessed as eligible to receive home to school transport

The personal travel budget is granted at the discretion of the Local Authority and is not automatically granted on request. There is no automatic right to receive a PTB in place of alternative transport assistance, which you may have been offered.

How much you'll receive

The amount of money awarded is based on the distance between your home and the school that your child attends. The distance measured is based on the safest walking route.

The PTB is not guaranteed until a child leaves the school they were attending when you first applied and received your personal travel budget. It will be reviewed on a regular basis and we'll take into account:

  • your child’s attendance records
  • the transport arrangements provided at that time
  • whether the transport arrangements are cost effective
  • any new transport options that might be available

Payments are made over an 11 month period directly into your bank account. No payments are made in August due to school closure.

Personal Travel Budgets have no impact on any other benefits you might receive.

What a personal travel budget can be spent on

A personal travel budget can be spent in a variety of ways, as long as your child gets to and from school on time and in a way that:

  • ensures their safety
  • encourages attendance
  • does not negatively affect their ability to learn once they are at school

You could use a personal travel budget to:

  • buy a travel pass for yourself or a trusted adult to accompany your child on public transport
  • cover fuel costs or wear and tear on your car
  • pay other people to take your child to school or college if you cannot do it yourself
  • arrange shared travel arrangements with other parents, such as shared driving responsibilities, walking buses or joint taxi arrangements
  • overcome barriers that may prevent you from accompanying your child to school, such as travel or childcare arrangements for siblings

How to apply

You can contact the Travel Co-ordination Service to apply for a personal travel budget by: