Table of Contents

Transport/Getting Around

Find information about transport and help with travel for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities

Home to school transport (SEND) eligibility

During busy periods it may be difficult to access our application forms. If you have any difficulties, please try to complete your application at a later date. If you continue to experience difficulties, your child’s/young person’s place of education may be able to assist.

Please also be aware that, for security reasons, our online application forms time out after 10 minutes and your progress will be lost.

To avoid this, we would recommend registering with the Council which means that you can save your progress and return to the form at any time. This is useful should you need to access any Council Services online You can register by clicking the link below:

Sign in | Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council

If you are do not have access to the internet and are unable to complete our online application form, you can access the internet free of charge at any of our libraries. Alternatively, we can accept completed application forms from a family associate or from a member of staff at the child’s/young person’s educational establishment

We require at least 28 days from receipt of a completed application form for suitable transport to be sourced so you are encouraged to make an application as soon as possible.

If you would like any further information, please email: education.transport@rotherham.gov.uk

Specialist home to school transport assistance for children with SEND
Age: Under 5 (Non-statutory school age)

Children aged under five years old can travel free of charge on public transport in South Yorkshire but they should be accompanied by a responsible person.

Free transport is not usually provided by the Council for children under five attending early years provision, nursery or a primary school/academy.

However, if your child has an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) your child’s individual transport needs could be assessed and suitable transport assistance may be recommended.

If you feel your child may qualify for transport assistance because of their physical or medical needs and/or disabilities please complete the enquiry below.

The Local Authority will ask family to consider a parental payment option as the first transport solution for children who are below the age of 5.

If organised transport assistance is agreed for your child, the Local Authority can only provide assistance for the usual opening and closing times of the school the child is attending.

If transport assistance is required via taxi/minibus we do not have to provide the service free of charge. There is therefore a contributory charge for travel using any of the Council’s contracted services of £1 per journey for transport within the Borough. Cost for travelling outside the Borough will be higher. The charge is not for the full cost of the transport provided.

The charges are based on the number of weeks per school term and, the actual number of days the child is attending school.  The charges are sent to the parent/carer of the child as 3 separate invoices during the school year, on a termly basis. The invoices will be due for immediate payment.

Charges will be waived if the family is below the income threshold of £16,190 per year but you will need to send relevant proof. Please ensure that you provide any documents which confirm low income when you make the application for transport to avoid any charges being made.

How to prove low income

The documents required as relevant proof are one of the following:

A full copy of the current Tax Credit Awards Notice – all pages are required

A copy of a letter confirming receipt of income support

A copy of a letter from Rotherham Council confirming the young person is eligible to receive free school meals

To make an application for transport assistance for a child under the age of 5 years, please follow the link below. Please ensure you have a copy of one of the above documents available to download before completing your application.

A guide to school transport and travel (RMBC)

Specialist home to school transport assistance for children and young people with SEND
Age 5 – 16 years (statutory school age)

For children who can travel on their own

Children with a special educational need or disability could be entitled to free travel to and from school in South Yorkshire  on public transport with a Zoom Zero Travel Pass.

Please see section on the Local Offer under ‘Public Transport’.

Although it is the responsibility of the parents/carers to ensure their child attends school, in some cases, the Council can provide assisted support for children & young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) with assisted transport between home and school.

To establish entitlement for eligibility, it is necessary for the Local Authority to undertake a full assessment of the child’s individual needs. The child may qualify for assisted support with travel to and from school if they fulfil the following criteria: –

  • Are aged up to 16.
  • Live in the Rotherham area.
  • Have an Education, Health & Care Plan and have physical or medical needs or disabilities which prevent them from travelling independently on public transport
  • Have a disability and/or SEND which prevents them to walk even relatively short distances to school, even when accompanied.
  • Live over 3 miles from their ‘qualifying school’.
  • We understand that the needs of each individual child are specific to them. When organising home to school transport the travel planning team will attempt to meet those needs and may require additional information regarding the child to ensure arrangements are appropriate.

In most cases, it will be expected that children will share transport with other passengers where they are allocated space on a vehicle, unless there is a specific requirement for single occupancy. Any assisted transport will be provided for the start and end of the school day.

If organised transport assistance is agreed for your child, the Local Authority can only provide assistance for  the usual opening and closing times of the school the child is attending.

Where relevant, you will be asked to upload a copy of the child person’s medical report as evidence of any medical or vulnerability conditions. If your child has an EHCP you do not need to upload additional evidence as the Local Authority are able to access the document.

You will need to provide the child’s height (cm) and weight (kg) so we able to identify any  equipment that may be required for the child on transport. Please ensure you have all this information, and any additional information to support your application before beginning the application form

To make an application for transport assistance, please follow the link below.

Apply for specialist home to school travel assistance – Instructions (RMBC)

Specialist home to school post 16 Transport assistance for children and young people with SEND
age 16 – 19 years (Non-statutory school age)

For children & young people who can travel on their own

Children & young people with a special educational need or disability could be entitled to free travel to and from school in South Yorkshire on public transport with a Zoom Zero Travel Pass.

Please see section on the Local Offer under ‘Public Transport’.

When a child or young person leaves statutory education (Year 11) they will need to complete a new application for transport. Even if they will be remaining at school 6th form and wish for transport assistance they already have in place to continue.

A young person may qualify for additional support travelling to and from school 6th form or college if they fulfil all of the following criteria:-

  • Are aged 16-19 and starting full time further education (over 12 guided learning hours per week).
  • Live in the Rotherham area.
  • Have an Education, Health & Care Plan and have physical or medical needs or disabilities which prevent them from travelling independently on public transport.
  • Have a disability and/or SEN and are unable to walk even relatively short distances to school even when accompanied.
  • Live over 3 miles from the school 6th form or college which they are attending.

Where relevant, you will be asked to upload a copy of the child person’s medical report as evidence of any medical or vulnerability conditions. If your child has an EHCP you do not need to upload additional evidence as the Local Authority are able to access the document.

If organised transport assistance is agreed for your child, the Local Authority can only provide assistance for  the usual opening and closing times of the school the child is attending.

The Local Authority will ask family to consider a parental payment option as the first transport solution for children & young people in this age range.

Please be aware that the Local Authority do not have to provide transport free of charge for students who are no longer of statutory school age and attending further education.  There is a contributory charge towards the cost of any transport that is arranged and funded by Rotherham Council.  

If the combined family income is less than £16,190 per year, transport will be provided free of charge. You will need to provide proof of your family’s low income, if appropriate, when you make your application to avoid any delays in processing your application.

How to prove low income

The documents required as relevant proof are one of the following:

A full copy of the current Tax Credit Awards Notice – all pages are required

A copy of a letter confirming receipt of income support

A copy of a letter from Rotherham Council confirming the young person is eligible to receive free school meals

The contributory charges are based on the cost of the current concessionary bus fares for public transport in South Yorkshire, which is currently £1 per journey. If transport is required to provision outside the Rotherham Borough, these charges are £2 per journey.

These charges are based on the number of weeks per school/college term and the actual number of days the learner is attending school/college.  The charges are sent to the parent/carer of the young person as 3 separate invoices during the school year, on a termly basis. The invoices will be due for immediate payment.

The documents required as relevant proof are one of the following:

  • A full copy of the current Tax Credit Awards Notice.
  • A copy of a letter confirming receipt of income support.
  • A copy of a letter from Rotherham Council confirming the young person is eligible to receive free school meals.

If you would like to make an application for transport assistance for a child/young person aged 16+. Please ensure you have a copy of one of the above documents available to download before completing your application.

Apply for specialist home to college or school 6th form travel assistance (RMBC)

If you would like any further information, please email: education.transport@rotherham.gov.uk

Additional available support for low income families: 16-19 Student Bursary Funds

Children/young people aged between 16 – 19 may be eligible for an allocation of funds from the 16-19 Student Bursary funds which are held by the school 6th form/college and not the Local Authority.

These monies can be provided to help with the cost of educational equipment and can also be used to help support the cost of transport to enable the child/young person to travel to their place of education.

Families may wish to consider applying for funds in the first option if they are on a low income, or if their application for transport has been refused. Further information can be found on the GOV.UK website:

16 to 19 Bursary Fund: Overview (www.gov.uk)

Please contact the educational provider of the child/young person for more information.

Parental travel payments

Personal Transport Budget (PTB)

A Personal Transport Budget is to help parents/carers arrange Home to School Transport in a way that suits their personal circumstances.  It allows families to make flexible arrangements and monitor the quality of their child’s/young person’s transport either directly or with other families to achieve the best possible travel arrangements for their children/young people.

PTB agreements will only be offered if there is no available space on a route already operating from home to school which can accommodate the eligible child/young person.

The benefits of a Personal Transport Budget are:

  • Providing freedom and flexibility for a family to choose the most appropriate travel arrangements for their child/young person which best fits with personal circumstances.
  • Providing choice and control over how funding is used to get their child/young person to and from school on time and in a way that suits family needs.
  • Ensuring resources are distributed in a fair way according to need.
  • Offering families alternatives to the traditional services that Rotherham Borough Council have provided.

Three allowances are paid over the academic school year for each school term.

Autumn Term: September to December

Spring Term: January to March

Summer Term: April to July

Payments are based on the distance from the child/young person’s home address to their place of education x a mileage rate of 45p per mile. All four journeys required to transport the child/young person will be reimbursed accordingly.

Monies are paid to the families prior to the start of each school term under an agreement that the child’s attendance at school does not fall below the required 85%. Where a child’s attendance at school falls the required level, there is an expectation that any ‘unspent’ monies will be reimbursed to the Local Authority.

If a family wish to be considered for a PTB but their needs of their child/young person are such that they are unable to achieve the agreed 85% attendance rate, a Parental Travel Claim (PTC) may be considered as an alternative travel solution.

To make an application for consideration of a PTB or PTC payment, please complete the relevant age appropriate transport application form under Home to school transport (SEND) Eligibility. If you would like any further information, please email: education.transport@rotherham.gov.uk

Parental Travel Claim (PTC)

A Parental Travel Claim is to help parents/guardians arrange Home to School Transport in a way that suits their personal circumstances.  It allows families to make flexible arrangements and monitor the quality of their child/young person’s transport either directly or with other families to achieve the best possible and appropriate travel arrangement.

Parental travel claims are assessed the same way as a personal transport budget and are based on the same mileage rate and distance measurement. However, payments are paid retrospectively to ensure that payment is made for actual days travelled.

Family will be asked to complete a monthly claim form which will need to be signed by school/college. This is to verify that the child/young person has attended for the days claimed for that period and is required specifically for audit purposes.

A PTC agreement will usually be offered if your child/young person is unlikely to achieve an attendance of above 85% due to their specific needs.

If a family are already in a PTB agreement and their child/young person’s attendance falls below the required 85%, families will be contacted to discuss arrangements for repaying the ‘unspent’ PTB allocation and may be moved onto a PTC arrangement.

To make an application for consideration of a PTC payment please complete the relevant age-appropriate transport application form under transport assessments.

To make an application for consideration of a PTC payment please complete the relevant age-appropriate transport application form under Home to school transport (SEND) Eligibility. The relevant documents to allow the PTC to be arranged will be emailed/sent via post, once a PTC arrangement has been confirmed with the family. If you would like any further information, please email: education.transport@rotherham.gov.uk

Organised assisted home to school transport

If transport assistance has been agreed for the child/young person, this will be provided by one of our approved transport operators or a space will be allocated on one of our internal fleet.

All the individual needs of each child/young person are carefully considered when sourcing transport. Particular considerations are made where a child has a medical condition, any physical or mobility issues or any significant behaviour concerns.

Journey times for each passenger will also be considered when planning each required route.

Parents/carers will be informed by the travel planning team of all the transport arrangements, and have the option to request a meet and greet with the transport providers prior to transport being put in place if they feel this would be beneficial to the child/young person to ease them into any new arrangements.

Pupils in receipt of any assisted transport must have their eligibility re-assessed following a change of address or circumstances, as this may affect both the identity of the qualifying school and the distance.

Transport assistance should be reviewed when a pupil transitions into a new key stage in their education to ensure that arrangements are still appropriate. Any recommended changes to a pupil’s transport arrangements will be considered by the Council provided they have been given suitable notice.   

To cancel or report any changes to home to school transport please visit the Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council website:

Cancel or change school transport (RMBC)

There may be a requirement for changes to existing transport arrangements by the Local Authority for various reasons, during the school term. When changes do become necessary families and schools will be provided with as much notice as possible so that the child can be fully prepared for the changes. 

A pupil’s home address is considered to be the one that is in receipt of the Child Benefit. 

  • Dual residence or parents/carers work and family commitments will not be regarded as valid reasons for determining entitlement to transport assistance and home to school transport will only be provided to and from the child’s home address.
  • Transport assistance will be provided for the start and finish times of the school day. It is the responsibility of parents/carers to meet other transport needs such as travel to and from work placements, breakfast and after-school clubs, extra-curricular activities, transitional transport, or any other arrangements they make with a school, including provision at an alternative site.   
  • Requests for transport to attend exams may not be provided. Usual transport operations will remain in place for the child during exam periods. It is an expectation that educational establishments will work with children and families to support attendance for exams and use existing transport arrangements.   

Pupils who are assessed as requiring transport on a coach, minibus or taxi will be collected and returned at named points near their home address. If the pupil is not at the boarding point at the agreed time in the morning, the transport will continue its journey to avoid late arrival at schools. If the pupil is collected from home, please ensure they are supervised to board the vehicle at the agreed time. 

Pupils who attend a residential school (e.g., a term-by-term basis) outside Rotherham named in their EHCP or Statement of SEN will be allocated a maximum of 6 return journeys to/from their place of education. No additional journeys will be funded by the Council. 

Any extra transport equipment, seating, restraints, or training required due to the pupil’s physical, medical or behavioural needs which require supervision during travel will usually be arranged by the Council. In some circumstances, an agreed written individual transport care plan will be required to be signed by the parent/carer before the pupil can travel on any contracted vehicle. 

The child’s parent/carer must ensure that a responsible adult meets the child when they are returned to their home address by the transport operator. If an emergency occurs which prevents this, the Travel Planning Team should be informed immediately. 

In the event of a responsible adult not being available, the transport operator will contact the Travel Planning Team. If the issue cannot be resolved the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) (Tel. 01709 336080) will be informed and the child may be taken to a place of safety until they are collected by a responsible adult.  

Where transport support is provided, no variation can be made to the journey without the prior consent of the Council.  

If a child will be absent from school for any reason, such as illness or holiday, it is the responsibility of the parent/carer to inform the Travel Planning Team (TPT) as soon as possible to prevent unnecessary charges being made to the Local Authority and to ensure safeguarding of the child. The Travel Planning Team will also need to be informed, in advance when the transport is required to start again. 

Behaviour expectations

The ultimate responsibility for the safety and conduct of children/young people during the journey to and from school rests with parents/carers.  

The Local Authority will collaborate with schools to promote good behaviour on home to school transport as they have the power to sanction children/young people for misbehaviour which takes place on school travel.

Local Authority and school will work together to: 

  • Set high expectations for children/young people’s behaviour on school travel and ensure these are communicated clearly to parents and children/young people; 
  • Ensure arrangements are in place to report and manage incidents of unacceptable behaviour; 
  • Work with operators to put in place measures to manage unacceptable behaviour where it occurs. 

The LA will ensure that all drivers and passengers assistants have appropriate training to enable them to manage children/young people’s behaviour while travelling. 

Unacceptable behaviour may include, but is not limited do, being rude, pushing and kicking, bullying, distracting the driver, refusing to wear a seatbelt and/or refusing to remain seated, which may endanger the safety and wellbeing of themselves and other passengers. 

Travel arrangements may be withdrawn if the behaviour becomes unmanageable or there is a serious health and safety concern, and alternative transport options may be offered for the child/young person.  

Managing behaviour that is part of a child’s SEND

The LA recognise that a child/young person’s challenging behaviour may be part of their SEND. The Local Authority will work with transport operators, schools and families to find positive ways to manage this behaviour wherever possible.

Where necessary, a risk assessment will be undertaken by the school and or/LA.

Some children/young people may find changes to transport arrangements distressing and benefit from having consistence in their travel arrangements wherever possible. Where a change to travel arrangements is planned, the LA will provide suitable notice to allow the parents/carers time to prepare children/young people for the change and can request to meet a new driver/passenger assistant to help with the change.

A copy of the Local Authority Behaviour Charter can be downloaded from here:

Or you can view the policy as a PDF document by clicking the link below:

Behaviour Charter (PDF)

Safeguarding

Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility. Rotherham Council has developed a safeguarding policy which explains what safeguarding is, different types of abuse and neglect and actions to take regarding any safeguarding concerns to ensure continued safety and welfare. The Rotherham Corporate Safeguarding Policy can be accessed via the link below:

Rotherham MBC Corporate Safeguarding Policy (pdf)

Any safeguarding concerns or incidents involving transport services operating RMBC home to school contracts, must be reported immediately to the Travel Planning Team so that they can be investigated and actioned accordingly:

You can download and use the forms below to report any incident:

You can view this form online as a PDF: Concern Report form

You can view this form online as a PDF: Incident Report Form

Safeguarding concerns or incidents may also be reported to the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH):

The Council’s Safeguarding Policy is applied to all contracts, with the addition of the following safeguarding requirements that also apply to Home to School Transport contracts:

  • Camera equipment, capable of recording both audio and video, must be installed in all vehicles used to transport children as part of any arrangement to which the policy applies.  The system must meet or exceed the council’s specification for taxi camera systems and must be operational at all times that the vehicle is being used as part of a contracted service.
  • Subject to certain exemptions, the driver must not allow a child to be conveyed in the front seat of a vehicle.
  • The driver must possess an appropriate BTEC / NVQ level 2 qualification (or equivalent) in a subject relevant to the transport of passengers.   
  • The driver (and any passenger assistants) must have attended the Council’s training course on safeguarding vulnerable passengers.
  • The driver and passenger assistant (if relevant) must have ability in English and Maths that meets the required standard.
  • The driver must have satisfactorily completed an advance driving skills test to Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) standards (taxi and private hire test).
  • Drivers that do not hold a hackney carriage/private hire drivers licence issued by Rotherham MBC are required to obtain an Enhanced Disclosure Certificate from the Disclosure and Barring Service (which must be obtained via Rotherham MBC), and consent to their DVLA driving licence being checked by Rotherham MBC using a third party organisation if required.  Any information that is detailed on the Enhanced Disclosure Certificate and/or the DVLA driving licence will be considered in accordance with Appendix C of the council’s Hackney Carriage and Private Hire licensing policy – any driver that does not meet the required standard will be prohibited from working as part of this contract.  Drivers and passenger assistants are required to notify the Council of their arrest and/or conviction for any offence – this notification must be received within specified timescales.
  • Drivers and passenger assistants that do not hold a hackney carriage/private hire drivers licence issued by Rotherham MBC are required to subscribe to the Disclosure and Barring Service Online Update Service.  This will allow the Council to verify that a DBS Certificate remains current.
  • The Council will monitor driver/vehicle compliance against these standards and will take swift and robust action should it become apparent that there are areas of non-compliance.
  • In addition, the Council will ensure that there are appropriate processes in place to ensure that any concerns regarding any aspect of transport provided as part of Home to School arrangements (can be Hackney Carriage and Private Hire licensing policy) are referred to the relevant service/agency so that those concerns can be addressed.  The Council will provide details of these processes to all those that are involved in the delivery/receipt of a Home to School Transport Service.
  • The implementation of the above requirements will ensure the delivery of the Council’s Strategic Plan to keep people safe when using licensed vehicles in Rotherham.  Additional requirements may be introduced should circumstances require this – appropriate communication will take place with all those affected by any amendments to the requirements outlined above.

Concerns and Complaints with assisted home to school transport

Any concerns or complaints with transport services operating RMBC home to school contracts, need to be immediately reported to the Travel Planning Team so that they can be investigated and actioned accordingly.

Contact details for the Travel Planning Team are:  

via email: R&E-PassengerTransport@rotherham.gov.uk.  

Telephone: 01709 334322 (24 hours voicemail is available).  

Independent travel training

The Local Authority are currently developing an Independent Travel Training Programme for eligible children and young people who live in the Rotherham Borough following a successful pilot programme in 2022.

Independent travel training is tailored and practical help for disabled people to travel by public transport, on foot, scotting or by bike. It aims to help children and young people travel independently and without fear so they can get to school or college, work and for social and leisure activities.

The training will be provided by an experienced Open Awards Level 2 accredited team and will be available to children/young people who are considered appropriate following referral and consultation with educational establishments, children/young people and their families. 

Independent Travel training helps each candidate develop the skills they need to travel independently and safely on public transport or on foot and no longer have to reliant on assisted transport provision.

Independent Travel Training will be offered in the form of practical support and aims to provide a life skill to young people. The benefits of the training include increased self-esteem, self-confidence and social skills, as well as increased potential to access education, employment and leisure opportunities.

Young people will be allocated their own travel trainer, who will work through a training plan with the young person. The plan is specifically tailored to the young person and aims to develop their independence.

Using structured training with their own dedicated travel trainer, each young person has one-to-one support as they complete regular routes to school or college.  Journeys are broken into easily manageable segments. Each one is mastered until independence is built up over the entire route.

The programme includes contingency strategies for unforeseen events sensible alternatives are explored and practised with full support from the Travel Trainer. It covers:

  • Personal and road safety awareness.
  • Journey planning and preparing for a journey (what to take, what the weather might be like).
  • Leaving the home safely (locking up if need be).
  • How to cope with an emergency or unexpected circumstances (cancelled trains, missed stops).
  • Using technology like travel cards and mobile phones.
  • The increased independence gives people improved confidence and self-esteem.
  • Young people become less reliant on parents and carers to take them to places.
  • People may be more likely to find themselves work or volunteering opportunities because they can travel.

In addition, if appropriate, a young person could be taught to:

  • Put a coat on and remember their travel card.
  • Take keys and lock the door.
  • Take the bus to school.

Get the bus home from school.

Benefits of independent travel training

  • Independent travel training could increase your child’s/young person’s independence and improve their self-esteem and confidence. Being less reliant on parents and carers to take them to places can lead to more opportunities to take part in social and community activities.
  • Independent Travel Training is a service that can offer a child/young person training and support if they want to learn how to travel independently between home and school or college.
  • The programme aims to help people travel on their own without fear so they can get to work, to education, or places where they want to go to for leisure.
  • Independent travel training is free for children and young people who are eligible for transport assistance.
  • Travelling is one of life’s essential skills. The benefits of travelling independently are far reaching in allowing young people to fulfil their potential

Once our Travel Training Programme is established within our Borough families will be able to make an application for their child/young person to be considered as a candidate.

Please return to this page regularly, for updates on how we are progressing with the implementation of the programme.

Sharing success

The parents of a young adult with additional needs from Kimberworth, Rotherham have spoken about the “life-changing” impact an independent travel training course has had on their son.

‘Life-changing’ travel training puts Rhys on the road to independence

Travel passes & concessionary tickets

Public transport

If your child/young person is able to travel to and from school/college using public transport it will be helpful for you to know what concessionary passes and travel tickets are available for them to use to travel.  Your child’s school or the young person’s college should be able to advise you. But information can also be found on the Travel South Yorkshire website.

Travel pass for children aged under 16 years old

Children living in the Borough who are under 16 years old can apply for a Zoom Under 16 Travel Pass which allows them to travel anywhere within South Yorkshire at the Concessionary fare which is currently £1 per journey. If your child has to board more than one bus to travel to school, there are daily/weekly saver tickets available to them once they have received their under 16 pass.

Zoom Under 16 Travel Pass (Travel South Yorkshire)

Travel pass for young people aged 16 to 18 years old

image of zoom 16-18 travel pass showing expiry date and young person's name and picture

Young people living in South Yorkshire and aged between 16 and 18 may be eligible to apply for a Zoom 16-18 Travel Pass.

With the pass they can travel in South Yorkshire for a single fare of £1 per journey on buses or trams. They can also get half fare on local trains. The pass also gives them access to cheaper 1, 7 and 28 day tickets for young people.

Zoom 16-18 Travel Pass (Travel South Yorkshire)

Travel pass for young people aged 18 to 21 years old

image of zoom 18-21 travel pass showing expiry date and young person's name and picture

Young people living in South Yorkshire and aged between 18 and 21 may be eligible to apply for a Zoom Beyond 18-21 Travel Pass.

With the pass they can travel in South Yorkshire for a single fare of £1.50 on First and Stagecoach services, £2 on tram, full adult fare (up to £2) on all other bus services.

Zoom Beyond 18-21 Travel Pass (Travel South Yorkshire)

Additional information

In addition, you can also use the website to plan your child’s/young person’s required journey to and from school by looking up available bus service operations:.

Further information on any of the above can be found on the Travel South Yorkshire website:

Travel South Yorkshire

The bustimes.org website also allows journeys to be tracked in real time:

bustimes.org

Transport assistance

If a person requires additional assistance to access public transport there are Journey Assistance Cards available which can be shown to the driver. These cards can be found online or are available at an interchange customer service desk.

You can download and print your own cards from the Travel South Yorkshire website:

Journey Assistance Cards (Travel South Yorkshire)

This link also provides additional information about: 

  • Transport Accessibility help
  • Mobility Scooters
  • Door 2 Door services
  • Accessible stations and interchanges

Please visit the Travel South Yorkshire website for further information:

 Tickets and Passes (Travel South Yorkshire)

Current bus and tram fares

Some single bus and tram fares across South Yorkshire changed on Wednesday 1 November 2023.

  • Concessionary child single fares on buses and trams for holders of Zoom Under 16, and Zoom 16-18 Travel Passes increased from 80p to £1.
  • The £2 fare cap on tram services in South Yorkshire (funded locally by South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority) rose to £2.80 and will last until 30 November 2024.

Changes were also made to the Zoom Beyond 18-21 Pass:

  • The 80p single fare on buses rose to £1.50 on services run by First, Stagecoach and TM Travel. It was withdrawn on services run by other operators – full adult fares will be charged, capped at £2.
  • The 80p single fare on Supertram was replaced with a new £2 single (£4 return) fare.

The £2 adult single fare cap on buses will remain until 31 December 2024.

Zoom zero travel pass

Free Zoom Zero Travel passes (previously known as zero fare travel passes) are available from the Local Authority for some children who live in the Rotherham Borough. These children are entitled to free transport assistance to travel to and from school by using this pass if they meet the following criteria:

  • For pupils aged 5, but less than 8 years (on 1st September) attending their nearest appropriate qualifying school* or any alternative catchment school determined by the Local Authority, free transport assistance (usually a Zoom Zero Travel Pass) will be provided where the distance between home and school is more than 2 miles.
  • Pupils aged 8-16 years (on 1st September) attending their nearest appropriate qualifying school* or any alternative catchment school determined by the Local Authority, free transport assistance (usually a Zoom Zero Travel Pass) will be provided where the distance between home and school is more than 3 miles.

The Local Authority have no statutory duty to provide a zoom zero travel pass for children over the age of 16.

Pupils from low income families – Extended rights

If you are a family on low income, the qualifying criteria for a zoom zero travel differs as below.  Low income criteria is considered for children entitled to Free School Meals or for families in receipt of Maximum Working Tax Credit and you will need to provide proof of low income with your application.

  • Pupils aged 8 to 10 years attending their nearest appropriate qualifying school* (unless an alternative  appropriate  school  has  been  determined  by  the  Local  Authority) where  the distance between home and school is more than 2 miles.
  • Pupils aged 11 to 16 years attending any 1 of their 3 nearest appropriate qualifying schools*,  where the distance between home and school is more than 2 miles, but not more than 6 miles.
  • Pupils aged 11 to 16 years attending their nearest appropriate denominational (faith) school on grounds of religion or belief, where the distance between home and school is more than 2 miles but not more than 15 miles.

The Local Authority have no statutory duty to provide a zoom zero travel pass for children over the age of 16.

When to apply for a Zoom Zero Travel Pass for my child

You can make an application for a zoom zero travel pass at any time during the school year. Applications for new or renewal zoom zero travel passes for each new academic year need to be made by 30th June each year to ensure that the pass can be sent to family before the start of the new school year.

If you wish to make an application for a new or renewal zoom zero fare bus pass for a child aged 5-16 please access the following link:

Zoom Zero Travel Pass | Instructions – Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council.

If you are applying for a renewal pass and your child is still happy with their existing photo,  you do not have to provide a new one with your application.

Disabled person’s pass

image of a disabled person's travel pass from Travel South Yorkshire

Children or young people with a special educational need or disability may qualify for a Disabled Person’s pass if they live in South Yorkshire and:

  • Are blind or partially-sighted 
  • Are deaf or without speech 
  • have a disability which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on your ability to walk 
  • do not have arms or have long-term loss of the use of your arms 
  • have a learning disability 
  • have been or would be refused a driver’s licence on medical grounds

A Disabled Pass will entitle free travel on many buses, trains and trams.  For all the information and how to apply please visit the website:

Travel South Yorkshire

If you don’t automatically qualify for a disabled pass with Travel South Yorkshire, you can apply to Rotherham borough council  If you can prove you meet additional criteria they will issue a letter of entitlement.

Disabled persons railcard

The National Rail service offer a Disabled Persons Railcard and other discounts. Most of the discounts apply to adult fares for passengers aged from 16. However, 5 to 15-year olds that are eligible can apply for a Disabled Persons Railcard. While the Railcard doesn’t offer discounts on child fares, it will allow one person travelling with the cardholder to get 1/3 off most rail fares. For further details about discounts on rail fares and how to apply, please see the Disabled Persons Railcard website:

Disabled Persons Railcard (national rail)

The blue badge scheme

Eligibility

The Blue Badge (Disabled Persons) Parking Scheme is a national scheme that allows disabled people in England to maintain their independence by enabling them to park as close as possible to their destination.

The scheme is open to eligible disabled people regardless of whether they are travelling as a driver or as a passenger.

You can apply for a Blue Badge for yourself, someone else or your organisation.

To find out more about the Blue Badge parking scheme and who is eligible, please visit the gov.uk website.

Apply for or renew a Blue Badge (gov.uk)

How to apply

You can apply online using the gov.uk application form.

Apply for or renew a Blue Badge (gov.uk)

Please use this form if:

  • You are wanting to apply for a Blue Badge for the first time
  • You already have a Blue Badge which is due to expire within the next three months and would like to reapply for another one.
  • You need to change your details.
  • You have a Blue Badge that has been lost, stolen or damaged and it is due to expire in the next three months.
  • You want to apply for a Blue Badge on behalf of your organisation

If you are not able to apply online, please call us on 01709 382121 and ask for the Blue Badge Team. We will book you an appointment so we can go through the application with you over the telephone.

To request a replacement for a lost, stolen or damaged blue badge which isn’t expiring in the next 3 months, please click below:

Replace a lost or stolen Blue Badge (gov.uk)

Please be aware that there are other websites that offer to help you complete your application who charge extra for their service. These websites are not associated with Rotherham Council or GOV.UK

During the application

You will need provide appropriate documentation to support your application and a digital photograph.

To find out more about what you will need please below:

Apply for a Blue Badge (gov.uk)

Costs

The cost of a Blue Badge is £10. You’ll only be asked to pay if your application is approved.

A guide to the application process, additional information and decision making

Completing the application form

It’s important that you take the time to read the questions fully before providing the information you think best describes the reason why you think you should be awarded a Blue Badge.

You can save and return to your application at a later date if you need to.

Return to a saved Blue Badge application (gov.uk)

If you are unsure about how to complete the application form or and have a question you need help with you can contact the Blue Badge Team.

Blue Badge team (RMBC)

What happens after the application has been submitted

Once you have completed and submitted your application form you will receive an acknowledgment email to confirm your request has been received.

All applications are processed in order of receipt.

We will read through the information you have provided and let you know by email if we need any additional information.

Whilst we will do all we can to process your application as quickly as possible, the time it takes will be dependent on how quickly you can provide all the information and evidence we need.

It is your responsibility to provide the information and evidence we need. We may not be able to progress your application without it.

Additional information which you may be asked to provide

We may need you to obtain further information from the professional involved in your diagnosis, care or ongoing treatment so we can make a decision on your eligibility to receive a Blue Badge.

We will only ask you to do this when necessary and will send you a link to an online questionnaire which you can share with your professional. Once they have answered all the questions they can submit the form which is then securely delivered back to us.

What we need to know

We will ask the professional to confirm some basic details, such as their name, address, and professional registration number.

We will also ask them to tell us about:

  • The disability/disabilities you have been diagnosed with, how substantial this is, and how this will affect you over the next three years.
  • Their role in diagnosing your disability/condition.
  • Any examples they are aware of where your disability/disabilities have led you to:
    • experience very considerable difficulty whilst walking between a vehicle and your destination, or
    • be at risk of serious harm, or
    • pose a risk of serious harm to another person
  • Any coping strategies you have in place – you might for example have support from others, or might have put other things in place to help you better manage your symptoms or behaviours.

Decision

We may refuse to issue a badge if you do not provide suitable proof that you are eligible.

  • If your application is successful we will contact you by email and ask you to make payment.
  • If your application has not been successful we will contact you by email to explain why. We will also let you know how you can request a review of our decision if you are not happy with the outcome.

When a Blue Badge expires

  • It is your responsibility to reapply for a Blue Badge before your current one expires.
  • We recommend that you reapply 3 months before your badge expires as the government has advised that it can take up to 12 weeks for an award decision to be made.
  • As long as you have reapplied for a blue badge before your current one expired, you can continue using your existing badge at on–street locations and car parks operated and managed by Rotherham Council, until you have either received a new one or have been informed that your reapplication has not been successful.
  • If you use an expired badge, you may receive a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) or other enforcement action.
  • This is a local discretionary arrangement implemented by Rotherham Council. This exemption does not apply outside of the Rotherham borough or in parking locations operated by private business owners who set their own parking rules and could still enforce charges for outdated blue badges.

Find out more about your Blue Badge rights and responsibilities.

Blue Badge rights and responsibilities (gov.uk)

Using your Blue Badge – Where you can park

Disabled parking bay

These are subject to any time limit indicated. Your parking clock must be displayed if there is a time limit. If you are eligible you can apply for a disabled parking bay outside your home.

Some of our car parks are for permit holders. Even if you park in a disabled bay in one of these car parks you must display a valid permit as well as your blue badge.

Pay and display bays

These are free of charge and without time limit. Some of our car parks are for permit holders. Even if you park in a disabled bay in one of these car parks you must display a valid permit as well as your blue badge.

Please note:
Be sure to check signs in privately operated car parks as badge holders may have to pay.

Single or double yellow lines

You can park for a maximum of 3 hours:

  • where there are no loading/unloading restrictions that apply
  • providing you don’t cause an obstruction to other road users or pedestrians
  • your parking clock must be displayed

Permit or loading bays

Park for a maximum of 3 hours. Your parking clock must be displayed.

Where you cannot park with a Blue Badge

You cannot park in these locations:

  • where there is a loading ban in place
  • in pedestrian crossings, including areas marked by zig-zag lines
  • in restricted bus stops and taxi ranks
  • in School Keep Clear restrictions
  • in bus, tram and cycle lanes
  • in No Stopping (24 hour) Clearways
  • in suspended parking bays

If you park in these areas you will be treated like any other driver and may be issued with a parking fine.

Please also use the following link for updates on changes to Blue Badge Parking Scheme enforcement:

Statement: Changes to blue badge parking scheme enforcement (RMBC)

How to Appeal against a decision made by the Local Authority

The decision regarding refusal of free home to school transport assistance is based upon information available to officers at the time of the assessment. Parents/Carers have the right to appeal against the Local Authority’s decision not to provide transport assistance if they feel that an error has been made in the assessment of the entitlement, distance measurement, route safety or there are exceptional circumstances that breach this Policy.

Appeal timings

The Home to School Travel and Transport Guidance – July 2014 issued by the Department of Education, recommends the timings of Appeals procedures. These are recommended timings and not compulsory but every effort will be made to meet these.

Stage 1 Appeal Review

Parents or carers must, in writing, within 20 working days of the original decision, request a review of the original decision which will be undertaken by a Senior Officer (Stage 1 Review). Requests to appeal should be made in writing to education.transport@rotherham.gov.uk. Parents or carers will be provided with a notice of appeal form, which must be completed and returned within 20 working days. This should be accompanied by any other relevant evidence or medical reports that the parent/carer intends to rely upon. All evidence provided, together with a statement of appeal explaining the reasons for the original decision will be submitted to the Senior Officer for consideration.

Following the Stage 1 review the Senior Officer will respond in writing, within 20 working days of receipt of the parental request and receipt of the completed Notice of Appeal, either upholding or overturning the original decision. This will explain the reasons for the review decision and unless the original decision is overturned, offer the parent/carer the opportunity to escalate their appeal to be heard by an independent panel (Stage 2 Appeal Review).

Stage 2 Appeal Review

Parents or carers must confirm in writing their request for the appeal review to progress to Stage 2 within 20 working days of the letter confirming the outcome of the Stage 1 Appeal Review. Upon receipt, a statement of appeal will be prepared and all evidence submitted to an independent panel which has had no involvement in either of the previous decisions. The independent panel will review the previous decisions and the parental grounds for appeal within 40 working days. The outcome will be communicated to the parent or carer in writing within 5 working days of the panel hearing by the Council.

A Stage 1 or Stage 2 decision will be effective for the complete academic year following which entitlement will be reviewed for the next academic year. You will then again have the right to appeal this decision if necessary.

Flowchart of Appeal Process

Officer A declines the home to school transport application or offers travel arrangements that the parent carer considers ‘unsuitable’ for their child or young person’s needs.

Within 20 working days from receipt of Officer A’s decision letter, the parent carer challenges Officer A’s decision on the basis of:

  • Entitlement
  • Distance measurement
  • Route safety
  • Transport solution offered
  • Consideration of exceptional circumstances

Stage 1 – Review by a senior officer

Officer B (a Senior Officer) reviews Officer A’s decision and sends the parent carer written notification of the outcome including:

  • Detailed reasoning for decision made.
  • Notification of option to escalate to STAGE 2.

Parent carer challenges Officer B’s decision and requests to progress to STAGE 2 within 20 working days from receipt of decision letter from Officer B.

Stage 2 – Review by an appeal panel

Within 40 working days from receipt of decision letter from Officer B Independent appeal panel (Officer A or B must not sit on the panel) considers written or verbal representations from the parent carer. The appeal panel is independent of the Stage 1 Process and suitably experienced.

A decision letter is send to the parent carer (within 5 working days), including how to escalate the case to Local Government Ombudsman (LGO). Parents or carers may contact the LGO if they feel that the Local Authority’s procedures have not been followed.

Home to school transport policy

Please find the link to our home to school transport policy below:

School transport policies (RMBC)

Meet our team

RoleWhen to contactContact NameContact Email
Service Manager Graham LaycockGraham.Laycock@rotherham.gov.uk  
Travel Planning TeamAll SEND Home to school transport operations including: cancellations, any changes to transport, concerns or complaints with home to school transport operations. R&EPassengerTransport@rotherham.gov.uk

01709 334322  
Home to School Operational Manager        Carrie RidgewayCarrie.Ridgeway@rotherham.gov.uk  
Travel Planning Officers Susan Clarke

Mathew Slater

Zoe Hollings

Melisa Hopwood  
Susan.Clarke@rotherham.gov.uk  

Mathew.Slater@rotherham.gov.uk  

Zoe.Hollings@rotherham.gov.uk  

Melisa.Hopwood@rotherham.gov.uk  
Travel Planning Assistants Amanda Blenkiron  

Tracey Barker

Susan Smith
Amanda.Blenkiron@rotherham.gov.uk 

Tracey.Barker@rotherham.gov.uk

Susan.Smith@rotherham.gov.uk
Compliance Officer                        
Compliance Assistant        Greg MallisonGreg.Mallison@rotherham.gov.uk  
RoleWhen to contactContact NameContact Email
Business & Projects team Entitlement of home to school transport assistance including: application status, parental payments, contributory charges Education.Transport@rotherham.gov.uk

01709 249951  
Business & Projects Manager Elise SquiresElise.Squires@rotherham.gov.uk  
Business & Projects Coordinator Julie Sharpe  Julie.Sharpe@rotherham.gov.uk  
Independent Travel Training Team Holly Smith

Jack Booth
Holly-res.Smith@rotherham.gov.uk

Jack.Booth@rotherham.gov.uk
Assessment Officer Anne-Marie Kearney

Hazel Denton  
Anne-Marie.Kearney@rotherham.gov.uk
      Hazel.Denton@rotherham.gov.uk  
Business Support Assistant                    Claire EtchesClaire.Etches@rotherham.gov.uk  

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Home to school transport applications SEND

My child/young person has an Education, Health, Care Plan (EHCP). Does that mean they automatically qualify for transport assistance?

Eligibility for home to school transport provision is not granted automatically. The Local Authority require a completed transport application form for all request for transport assistance and relevant forms can be found under Home to school transport (SEND Eligibility).

Assessment of eligibility is made under a set of criteria taking into account how the child’s SEND affects their ability to be able travel to school/college.

Further details can be found in the our home to school transport policy which can be viewed on the Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council website:

School transport policies (RMBC)

My child/young person does not have an Education, Health, Care Plan (EHCP) but has SEND, can I still apply for transport assistance?

If your child or young person’s SEND prevents them for walking to and from their place of education alone or accompanied then the Local Authority will be able to consider a request for transport assistance.

How long does it take to get a decision on whether or not my application has been successful?

We require 28 days from receipt of a transport application to make an assessment of entitlement and then establish what mode of transport is most appropriate. The time also allows the travel planning team to obtain any other relevant information and source suitable transport if a space is required on organised transport. Please be advised that it may take longer if the child/young person needs a transport care plan, or a home visit and risk assessment. It may take even longer during our peak times – ie. transport applications received for a new academic school year.

It has been agreed for my child/young person to attend a new school on a part time basis for transitional visits, will transport be provided?

No. Transport will only be provided once the child or young person has been placed on the roll of their education provider.

I have a young person who will be attending a training course/apprenticeship, can I apply for transport assistance?

No. The Local Authority are only obliged to consider requests for transport assistance when the young person is continuing their education and are unable to travel to their educational base without assistance or support.

My child/young person is not statutory school age (ie under 5 or over 16) and they have  SEND. Can I make an application for home to school transport?

Yes. You can make an application to be considered for assisted transport but the Local Authority do not need to provide transport free of charge and a contributory charge of £1.00 per journey for travel within Rotherham, or £1.60p per journey for travel outside Rotherham will apply. These charges can be waived if the family are on a low income. Further information on the contributory charges can be found in our home to school transport policy:

School transport policies (RMBC)

My child/young person has SEND but is able to travel to their place of education using public transport. Is there any assistance the Local Authority are able to provide?

Yes. You can apply for a zoom zero travel pass to allow your child to travel free of charge. Further information and application form can be found under Public Transport – Zoom Zero Travel Pass.

Personal transport budgets

What is a Personal Transport Budget Arrangement (PTB)?

A PTB is granted at the discretion of the Council with the agreement of the family. This means that even if your child/young person is assessed as eligible to transport assistance, you may not be granted a Personal Transport Budget. It would not be considered suitable if it would have an adverse impact on a service provided for other transport users, or where it is not an efficient use of the Council’s resources.

Under these circumstances, the Council will arrange alternative home to school or college transport taking into consideration your child/young person’s needs. This will be assessed as part of the application process.

A Personal Transport Budget is a sum of money paid to parents or carers of children and young people with SEND who qualify for assistance under our home to school transport policy and have been assessed as eligible. It allows families to arrange home to school transport in a way that suits their personal circumstances and can be  a great option for many families. Each PTB allocation will depend on the number of days the child/young person is travelling to their place of education, a confirmed attendance at their educational provider of above 85%, and the distance from home to school/college. There is no cost to either the young people or parents/carers who are eligible for this type of option.

What are the benefits of a Personal Transport Budget?

A PTB allows families to make flexible transport arrangements which can help with their family circumstances.

They provide more choice and control over how funding is used to get the eligible child/young person to and from school/college on time in a way that suits the family.

A PTB can help improve a child/young person’s wellbeing to help them arrive at school/college and be ‘ready to learn’.

They allow opportunities to share with other parents by pooling PTB allocations and sourcing alternative transport arrangements.

They offer an alternative to the traditional services that Rotherham Borough Council can provide.

How can I use my Personal Transport Budget allocation?

Monies can be used to purchase a travel pass for parent/guardian or a trusted adult to accompany the child/young person on public transport.

Pay for a passenger assistant with an enhanced disclosure and barring service clearance to accompany the child/young person to walk to school/college or to travel by public transport.

Enable a family member or trusted family friend to drive the child/young person to and from home to school or college. Arrange a private taxi firm to drive the child/young person from home to school or college.

Who can apply for a Personal Transport Budget?

If you would like to make an application for a PTB to see if your child/young person would be eligible, please complete the appropriate application form which can be found under: Home to School Transport (SEND) Eligibility. You will need to complete the form in accordance with the child/young person’s age.

I have always transported my child/young person to school/college and they have now been agreed a PTB arrangement, can I ask for it to be backdated?

Unfortunately not. The Local Authority are only obliged to any transport assistance once proof of eligibility has been established. This is usually following completion of a transport application form which has then been approved.

How much money will I receive?

The amount of a PTB is assessed on the distance between your child’s residence and their school.

For fairness and consistency, all PTB allocations will be measured by mile, using the same measuring software that is used for assessing the child/young person’s eligibility for home to school transport assistance.

Payments are paid each term, before the start of each term where possible, directly into your nominated bank account by BACS transfer payments. You will need to provide the Local Authority with your bank account details using the relevant document which will be emailed to the successful family.

I have more than one child/young person who are eligible for a PTB payment, will I receive a payment for each child?

If the children/young person are travelling to the same educational establishment, the PTB will only be paid for the 4 journeys in which both children are being accompanied to school. If they are attending different educational establishments, your allocation will be considered and discussed with you.

Could my Personal Travel Budget be reduced or stopped?

According to our Terms of Agreement which is signed by the parent before the first payment is made, a PTB payment may be reviewed, adjusted, suspended, or terminated if:

  • The child/young person’s attendance falls below 85%
  • The child/young person’s moves address
  • The child/young person’s has a long hospital stay 2 weeks or more
  • The child/young person’s regularly arrives late at school in a morning
  • The child/young person’s arrives at school in an unfit state to learn
  • Travel arrangements that have been put in place for the child/young person are deemed to be unsuitable or unsafe
  • The child/young person accesses short breaks stay away from the family home

You will be notified in writing of any decision to adjust or withdraw your Personal Transport Budget.

If you are unsure about whether a change in circumstances will affect your Personal Transport Budget, please contact education.transport@rotherham.gov.uk to discuss. Failure to notify of a change in circumstances, may affect the assessed amount or result in the termination of your budget.

What if my child is absent from school?

Children become unwell from time to time and any short periods of absence due to your child being unwell do not need to be reported. School attendance for all pupils is monitored each term; by contacting school or college for attendance data, only if your child’s attendance falls below 85% will this affect Personal Transport Budget payments. If your child is expecting planned absence, please contact education.transport@rotherham.gov.uk so adjustments can be made to the next month’s payment.

If your child attendance falls below 85% during a school term alternative ways to assist you with supporting your child’s transport arrangements will be discussed with you.

You may be moved onto a parental travel claim arrangement which means you will still be paid the same amount per day to transport your child/young person to school/college, but you would need to make a monthly claim for the allowance.

Will it have an impact on the benefits I currently receive?

Personal Transport Budgets are not classed as a benefit which means that the budget is not taxable. However we would always advise parent/carers to check with any relevant services that this is the case for their own personal circumstances.

What if I move address?

If you are planning a house move and are in receipt of a PTB which has been paid to you, you will need to complete a new application form so entitlement can be re-assessed and any paid PTB reviewed. It may be possible to accommodate your child/young person on a route already operating near the new address. Please complete the appropriate application form which can be found under: Home to School Transport (SEND) Eligibility. You will need to complete the form in accordance with the child/young person’s age.

Can I stop my Personal Transport Budget?

If you no longer require a budget, it can be cancelled giving 14 days’ notice in writing. In the interim period it will remain your responsibility to continue with the PTB agreement to ensure your child/young person  attends school or college. If your child/young person is assessed as requiring a Personal Assistant, it may take longer to put in place suitable transport arrangements. All over paid monies will need to be paid back to Rotherham Borough Council.

Zoom zero travel pass – FAQ’s

How do I apply for a free bus pass for my child to travel to school?

You will need to complete the online application form:

Apply for a Zoom Zero travel pass (RMBC)

This form should be completed for all new applications for a Zoom Zero Travel Pass, and also if you wish to renew an existing pass for a new school year.

Please be aware before you start the online application form you need to have extra information available. You will be required to upload your child’s photograph and, if applicable, low income criteria evidence eg free school meals or maximum working tax credit. Without this, you will not be able to complete the application.  Application forms can be found at: Under Zoom Zero Travel Pass

Are there any exceptions to the Policy that mean my child may be considered for a Zoom Zero Travel Pass?

Exceptions to the policy can be found at Section 3.07 of the current Home to School Transport Policy.

School transport policies (RMBC)

What low income evidence do I need to provide to support my application under the extended rights criteria?

To be assessed for eligibility for a Zoom Zero Travel Pass under the low income criteria, your combined family income has to be below £16,190. The Local Authority will need to see relevant proof of this so please ensure that you provide at least one of the documents below to support your application:

  • A copy of the letter from the Local Authority confirming your child’s eligibility to receive free school meals.
  • full copy of your current working tax credit awards document if you are in receipt of the Maximum level. You can compare your Award Notice yourself before submitting with the example below of how we work out your tax credits, which we require to determine eligibility for your application:

Maximum Working Tax Credit example (pdf)

How long will it take for my application to be assessed once I have completed the online application form?

It will usually take up to 28 days for you to receive an outline decision and this will be done by email. During our peak times (June – August) it may take us longer to contact you to confirm the outcome of the assessment as we are processing a higher than usual volume of applications, but we will always make contact and advise you of the outcome.

My child has been assessed as qualifying so when will s/he receive the new Zoom Zero Travel Pass?

If your child is assessed during their final year in primary school and s/he is due to transfer to their secondary school in September, the bus pass will be posted out during August by Travel South Yorkshire (TSY).

Any qualifying applications submitted after the start of the academic year will usually be processed within 28 days.  Once we have advised you that your application has been successful, your child’s details will be passed to TSY to allow them to issue the pass, as the passes are not supplied by RMBC. You will receive an email from TSY when they have printed and posted the bus pass to your home address.

When/where can my child use his/her Zoom Zero Travel Pass?

A Zoom Zero Travel Pass is valid between the home boarding point and school stated on the pass and can be used from Monday to Friday up to 7 pm. It is valid on the days when school is open in term time only.

I have received an email from Travel South Yorkshire stating the bus pass has been sent to the printer but it hasn’t arrived.  Who do I contact?

All passes are issued by Travel South Yorkshire (TSY) and not the Local Authority. If you have not received the bus pass 10 days after receiving the email from TSY, you should contact Traveline on 0800 9520002.

My child is starting at secondary school in June/July.  When will they receive their Zoom Zero Travel Pass?

Zoom Zero Travel Passes are issued for the start of the new academic year in September.  

My child is moving to secondary school before the new school year. Can I apply for a pass early?

Pupils will be able to access public transport during any transitions arranged between the primary and secondary schools, but the Local Authority will not issue a Zoom Zero Travel Pass for this period. Pupils will need to obtain a ‘Zoom Under 16 Travel Pass’ (previously a Mega Travel Pass) to allow them to travel on public transport at the concessionary fare (£1 currently). If the child does not have any bus pass, then they may be charged full fare. To make an application for a concessionary pass please visit The Travel South Yorkshire website:

Concessionary travel passes for young people (Travel South Yorkshire)

Which bus will my child need to travel on when they transfer to secondary school?

A Zoom Zero Travel Pass is valid on any bus providing it is a school day, and your child is travelling between the boarding point and the school, which are both shown on the bus pass.  Having a Zoom Zero Travel Pass does not guarantee you a place on the bus if it is full. 

Your child may also use their Zoom Zero Travel Pass to travel by tram if this service is available in the area where you reside.

A Journey Planner and bus timetables are available from Travel South Yorkshire:

Travel South Yorkshire

Your child’s new secondary school may also have bus timetable information available on their school website.

My child has lost/damaged his/her bus pass (had his/her bus pass stolen).  How do I get another one?

Replacement passes are only available from Travel South Yorkshire and are not issued by the Local Authority.

To replace a lost or damaged pass there is a £7.00 replacement fee. You can make the payment by calling Traveline on 0800 9520002 and using your credit or debit card.

Stolen passes can be replaced free of charge if you have a Crime Reference Number from the Police.  If the pass has been stolen, please contact Traveline on 0800 9520002 and speak to an advisor.

All replacements will be posted to your home address by First Class Post.

What if my child’s pass is damaged or faulty?

Take your pass to a Customer Service Desk at your local Travel South Yorkshire Interchange and ask a member of staff to check to see if the pass is faulty. 

Find your local bus interchange (Travel South Yorkshire)

If it doesn’t scan, and there are no obvious faults with the pass (it is not bent, scratched, cracked or otherwise damaged), they will report it to our Contact Centre and it will be replaced free of charge.  If the pass has obvious faults you will need to pay £7 for a replacement pass.

Your child can continue to show their existing pass to the driver/conductor until your new pass arrives.

Any queries should be directed via email to Travel South Yorkshire at zerofares@Travel South Yorkshire.co.uk.

How long will my child’s Zoom Zero Travel Pass last?

Providing that none of your family circumstances change, a Zoom Zero Travel Pass will be valid for one academic year (from the start of term in September until 31st July). You will therefore need to re-apply for a renewal pass each year, until your child finishes their statutory education and completed their school Year 11 studies.

Correspondence will be sent to the email address held on our records (supplied on the original application) to remind parents/carers to reapply for a Zoom Zero Travel Pass – usually during May of each year. It is therefore important that you advise us of any changes to your email address as we may not be able to contact you to remind you. We cannot accept any responsibility of travel costs where passes have been issued to a child late.

Applications for a renewal pass need to be received by the deadline of 30th June each year to guarantee it being produced and posted to you in time for the new school year. Applications received after this date are not guaranteed to be processed in time for the new school year, and your child may be asked by the driver to pay a fare to travel until the pass has been issued. We will not be able to provide any refunded travel costs in this instance.

What if I move house or my child transfers to a different school during the school year, can my child still use their bus pass?

If your family moves home or your child has a mid-year school transfer, a new assessment will be required to be undertaken.

Your child may no longer be eligible for free transport assistance, and may not be able to use the bus pass they have been issued with. Please email education.transport@rotherham.gov.uk before your intended house move/school transfer so that we can advise further.

My child is currently issued with a free bus pass but is attending a different school on a managed move basis.  Are they entitled to another bus pass?

Pupils are only entitled to free transport assistance to attend their registered school base.  Parent/carers should email education.transport@rotherham.gov.uk so that we can advise further.

My child sometimes travels to/from school from a different address (eg other parent/grandparents) – can this address be included on the bus pass?

Zoom Zero Travel Passes are only issued for travel from the pupil’s home address which is registered by the school and confirmed on our computer system.  A pupil’s home address is regarded as the one that is in receipt of Child Benefit and based within the Rotherham borough. Dual residence or parent/carers’ work and family commitments cannot be taken into account. The addition of an additional boarding point may be considered in exceptional circumstances, eg where the parent/carer has a medical condition/physical difficulty.

My child is attending a Rotherham school but we live/are moving to live within another authority.  Will they qualify for a free bus pass?

The Council’s current Home to School Transport Policy does not provide free transport assistance for pupils residing outside Rotherham Authority.  An application would need to be made to the new home authority (to whom Council Tax is paid). Please use the link below to check which Local Authority you will need to make your application to:

Find your local council (gov.uk)

My child attends a school outside Rotherham.  Will they qualify for a free bus pass?

A Zoom Zero Travel Pass may be given to pupils who attend a school outside Rotherham Authority, but only if it is the nearest available school to the home address, beyond the statutory walking distance and is within South Yorkshire.

When my child transfers to secondary school, they will not be attending the catchment school as they have been allocated a place at a denominational school.  Will they qualify for a Zoom Zero Travel Pass?

Pupils attending their nearest appropriate denominational (faith) school will only qualify for free transport assistance if the child is entitled to Free School Meals or is from a family in receipt of Maximum Working Tax Credit,  and where the distance between home and school is more than 2 miles but not more than 15 miles.

My child is not yet 5 years old.  Can they have a free bus pass?

There is no statutory duty to provide transport assistance to children under the age of 5 years. Parents/Carers are expected to accompany children under the age of 5 years to their early year’s provider and on public transport.

Currently, there is no charge for children under the age of 5 years to travel by public transport if accompanied by a parent/carer paying full fare.

My child has a disability and receives DLA/ Mobility benefits.  Will s/he qualify for a Zoom Zero Travel Pass?

Even though your child may meet the qualifying criteria, it may be more beneficial to apply for a Disabled Person’s Pass which entitles the bearer to free travel at all times (and not limited to transport between home and school) on buses, trams and trains within South Yorkshire and free bus travel in all other parts of England between 9.30 am and 11 pm on weekdays and at any time during weekends and Bank Holidays. 

Please note, if your child has a Disabled Person’s Pass you cannot also apply for a Zoom Zero Travel Pass. Only one or the other can be issued.

Details regarding other advantages and the qualification criteria can be found on the Travel South Yorkshire website:

Disabled Pass (Travel South Yorkshire)

My family has recently moved address and I’m currently in the process of applying for my child to move to a nearer school.  Can we apply for help with transport costs to attend their current school in the meantime?

Free transport assistance may only be given in accordance with the current Home to School Transport Policy and are not provided on a temporary basis.

School transport policies (RMBC)

My child doesn’t qualify for a free bus pass.  What other travel options are there available?

Pupils who do not qualify for a Zoom Zero Travel Pass can travel at the concessionary fare, but need to obtain a Zoom Under 16 Travel Pass (previously a Mega Travel Pass) via Travel South Yorkshire which proves to bus drivers, tram conductors and ticket sellers that you are entitled to:

  • travel for only £1 per single journey on all buses and trams in South Yorkshire.
  • get half price travel on all trains in South Yorkshire.

You may also be able to buy discounted 1 day, 7 day or 28 day tickets for your child which may be a more cost effective option if they have to use more than one bus to travel to school, and return each day. The Ticket Finder page on the Travel South Yorkshire website has more information, and can help you find the best option.

Ticket Finder (Travel South Yorkshire)

A MyTSY account should be created before applying for a Zoom concessionary pass:

Create account (Travel South Yorkshire)

Zoom Zero Travel Passes may also be purchased privately from Travel South Yorkshire and paid for by monthly instalments:

Zoom Zero Travel Pass – Private purchase (Travel South Yorkshire)

Please be aware that if your child does not have any bus pass they could be asked to pay full fare. 

Can my child access a school bus without a Zoom Zero Travel Pass?

Although known as “school buses” these are run commercially.  Contracts are awarded to bus companies by South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive and anyone is able to access them, as long as they pay the relevant fare or show a Zoom Zero Travel Pass/Zoom Under 16 Travel Pass if they have one.

What if I disagree with the Council’s decision not to issue a Zoom Zero Travel Pass?

You have the right to appeal if you feel there are exceptional circumstances which have not been taken into consideration.  You must submit your application for appeal within 20 working days of the original decision.  A two stage appeal process will then be considered.

How do I appeal?

Once you have received notification that your application has been rejected, you may request to appeal against our decision by emailing:

education.transport@rotherham.gov.uk

You will then be given details of how to appeal against the assessment outcome and will need to submit this online.

Further information can be found in the Appeals section.

My child is staying on at 6th form/moving on to study at college.  Will  they still be entitled to a Zoom Zero Travel Pass?

There is no statutory duty to provide Zoom Zero Travel Passes for students aged over 16. However, full-time students may be entitled to a 16-18 Travel Pass which enables them to travel at the concessionary fare.

16-18 student passes are available from Travel South Yorkshire:

Zoom 16-18 Travel Pass (Travel South Yorkshire)

A MyTSY account should be created before applying for a 16-18 pass:

Create account (Travel South Yorkshire)

If your child is currently in receipt of Free School Meals, or your family receive certain benefits, s/he may be eligible to receive financial assistance via the Student Bursary Fund – contact Student Services at the school/college for further details.

More details regarding the Student Bursary Fund can be found at:

16 to 19 Bursary Fund: Overview (gov.uk)

Can the Local Authority withdraw my child’s bus pass?

When you make an application for a zoom zero travel pass and your application is approved, you sign an agreement that your child will behave appropriately on public transport. Your child will expected to behave appropriately on public transport at all times. Further details can be found here:

Pupils on Public Transport: Promoting positive behaviour in South Yorkshire (pdf)

How do I report an issue on public transport?

Public transport services are not operated by the Local Authority and all concerns and complaints should be reported to Travel South Yorkshire:

Our Customer Charter (Travel South Yorkshire)

You should also report any concerns on public transport operations during school journey times, to your child’s school.

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