School bus passes face £100 price increase

Bus seats
The Kent Travel Saver ticket will rise from £450 to £550 next term [Getty Images]

School bus passes in Kent face a price rise of more than 20%.

The Kent Travel Saver (KTS) ticket will rise from £450 to £550 next term, affecting nearly 14,000 students.

Kent County Council blamed the price hike on “operation inflation” – a move described as “extortionate” by a parent.

Chairman Sean Holden said the changes were largely determined by the charges set by the bus companies which provide the service.

KTS tickets are a discretionary travel concession aimed at secondary school students.

A low-income pass will remain at £120 and a limited number will be free to some users, such as carers.

The total number of bus passes is 13,376, with an additional 2,500 on low income tickets, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

'Extortionate'

Amanda Clarke, an NHS worker whose daughter Aimee attends Knole Academy in Sevenoaks, seven miles from their West Kingsdown home, said she has “no choice but to pay”.

“I don’t expect it to be free, but I think £100 is extortionate and would like to know where the money goes,” she said.

Mr Holden said the service “still represents value for money”.

The council said a full cost pass can save up to 50% compared to operator tickets, even with the increase.

“The council does not control buses, but this is a way that we can continue to help parents with cost and encourage the use of bus services to get to school,” a spokesman said.

The issue will be discussed at a council meeting next week.

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