Post 16 home to school and college transport
We provide support with travel to eligible learners aged 16 and over to their place of study to promote participation, where we deem it necessary as set out in our Post 16 Travel Policy.
The policy explains how decisions are made about the type of travel support that may be provided and eligibility criteria that applies. Assistance with travel is provided at the discretion of the council and is subject to assessment and an annual contribution charge of £650 per learner. The 2019-20 policy, eligibility criteria and application forms can be found below.
If you are refused transport, are unhappy with this decision and would like to appeal, please put your reasons in writing, together with any supporting information within 15 days of receiving your refusal letter. Your appeal should be sent to:
SEN Manager, Dryden Centre, Evistones Road, Low Fell, NE9 5UR.
Important changes to post-16 home to school/college travel from September 2017 onwards
Following a consultation exercise during October to December 2013, the council agreed at its budget meeting on 27 February 2014 to introduce a contribution charge for post-16 travel support for learners aged 16-18 from September 2016 but the introduction of the charge was deferred. The council has now reviewed this decision and agreed that an annual contribution charge of £650 will be introduced for applications for travel support from September 2017.
More detail about who must pay this charge can be found in the Government guidance on post 16 travel.
Financial help for home to school/college travel through a Bursary Fund
If you are aged 16-19 years at the start of the academic year and are in further education or training, you may be able to get help for education-related costs such as transport to and from college through a Bursary Fund. You could get a Bursary of up to £1200 a year if you're:
- In care or a care leaver
- Claiming Income Support or Universal Credit
- Disabled and getting Employment and Support Allowance and Disability Living Allowance
If you aren't in one of these groups you could still get a bursary depending on your personal circumstances. Ask your school, college or training provider's student support services to see if you're eligible in advance of your course starting.
Free bus and discounted bus and Metro travel if you are disabled
If you are disabled (eligibility criteria applies), live in Tyne and Wear and have a Concessionary Travel Pass, you can travel on buses in Tyne and Wear for free after 9.30am Monday to Friday and all day at weekends and public holidays. Metro travel is not free but you can avoid paying full fares after 9.30am by buying a Metro Gold Card, which can be used with a Concessionary Travel Pass. Everyone applying for a Concessionary Travel Pass has to be assessed by Social Services. For more information:
Phone: Nexus on 0191 20 20 747
Nexus - Companion Card
A companion card allows a person with a disability to take someone with them on public transport free of charge. You will automatically qualify for a companion card if you receive either of the following:
- Higher rate care component of the Disability Living Allowance
- High rate Attendance Allowance
You may still be eligible if you don't receive either of these benefits.
How to apply: You'll need to complete a Companion Card application form. Request one by calling 0191 20 20 747, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or writing to:
Companion Card Applications, Nexus, Nexus House, St James Boulevard, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 4AX.
Or you can pick one up from a Nexus TravelShop - just ask for a Companion Card application pack.
Taxicard - cheaper taxi travel
If you have a mobility difficulty, the Nexus TaxiCard scheme can help you to travel independently. It allows you to travel with one of their approved taxi companies at a discounted price. Members get issued with a card which is credited with a set amount of money every year - you use the money on your card to help pay towards each journey you make. TaxiCard is an annual scheme, but there are two application deadlines where you can apply to join each year. For more information:
Phone: Nexus Customer Services Team on 0191 20 20 747 7 days a week between 7am and 9pm
Independent travel training
Gateshead Council's Post-16 travel policy promotes and encourages the development of independent travel skills. Independent travel training for post-16 students with learning difficulties or disabilities may be arranged free of charge by Gateshead Council where this is deemed appropriate. Please contact the SEND Team using the details at the bottom of this page for more information. In addition, colleges often provide support around independent travel training as part of a young person's study programme where this has been identified as a need.
Personal Travel Budgets
A personal travel budget can offer parents and carers a different way of managing how they organise the transport needs of their child to and from their place of study. Applications are assessed on an individual basis and are usually only provided were this is cost effective to the Council.
Public transport information
A range of transport providers in Gateshead and across Tyne and Wear provide cheaper transport on the Metro, buses, ferry and local rail services between Newcastle and Sunderland for students with a valid student ID card.
Safety while travelling on the Metro
'Gateshead People' is a group of people with learning disabilities focusing on preventing hate crime and promoting safety on the Tyne and Wear Metro. They have made a short film about the help you can seek when out and about on the Metro and what you can do if something happens or if you experience abuse from other passengers:
Blue Badge Scheme
If you have a disability (eligibility criteria applies), having a Blue Badge allows you to park near to places you want to go. A blue badge costs £10 and you can apply online. For more information:
If you are disabled, you can find information about travelling on trains, planes, cars, buses and coaches, taxis and minicabs and about wheelchairs on the Government's website.
The council has produced a booklet about alternative/discounted means of travel for learners in and around Gateshead: