Following the decision at the Council Meeting on 21 December 2022, school transport will be provided to primary pupils living more than two miles away from school and to secondary pupils who live more than three miles away from school and who attend their local catchment school.

Applications will only be considered where a child/children are entitled in line with the new policy. The Council is unable to consider personal circumstances.

The new policy will come into effect for school session 2023/2024.


When will you be consulting on this proposal?

As a council we are required by law to consult on any changes made to denominational school transport. A statutory consultation for our denominational schools will begin in March 2023, however no statutory consultation is required for our non-denominational schools.

When will I be notified of future entitlement to free school transport?

Following the Council decision to change the policy, parents/carers will be notified prior to the new school session 2023/2024 regarding future entitlement. We aim to communicate with all affected families by the end of April 2023.

What will it mean for my child/children?

Your entitlement to free school transport will not change if you live more than two miles from your primary school or three miles from your secondary school.

I am no longer entitled, when will my child/children’s free school transport end?

Free school transport provision will cease at the end of current school session 2022/2023.

I am no longer entitled and can’t afford to send my child/children to school?

On average, it takes between 30-45 minutes to walk two miles. In addition, all young people and children aged 5-21 years can apply for a card to access the Young Persons’ (Under 22s) Free Bus Travel Scheme. For further information and to apply for a card, please visit

The service bus did not turn up or my child/children can’t access a service bus using their under 22's bus pass?

The Authority will endeavour to liaise with bus companies to request increased provision at busy times. Please note that local service buses are an independent provision and the Council has no control over the number, frequency or capacity of public transport in West Dunbartonshire.

How does the Council assess the distance from my home to school?

Distance and safety is measured by use of electronic mapping systems. Where home addresses are in close proximity to eligibility, routes are physically measured for accuracy.

When will the council assess routes considered in close proximity to eligibility?

Marginal routes will be considered between January – March, with the outcome being communicated to families by the end of April 2023.

How are walking routes assessed?

Routes are assessed by the shortest safe walking route from your home to your catchment school.

What determines a safe walking route?

Safe walking routes are recognised public access footpaths (or right of way) suitable for a child accompanied by an adult. If a parent/carer is satisfied that their child(ren) has the required road safety skills, they can allow them to use these without an accompanying adult. Any concerns raised about safety of the pathway of a particular route would be assessed in line with road safety guidelines and where necessary in communication with Road Safety Officers.

My child has additional support/medical needs – is my transport affected?

If your child is already in receipt of transport for additional support needs, then your provision will not change. Additional support needs transport is not an automatic entitlement. Parents/carers would not apply for ASN transport. Instead, your child’s school would make a recommendation as part of a pupil review in cases where ASN transport should be considered.

My child/children will be attending another school/college as part of their consortia/senior phase transport?

Provision of Senior Phase transport is dealt with separately from this change. Parents/carers will be notified prior to the new school session 2023/2024 regarding Senior Phase transportation.

My child/children are starting Secondary School in the new school term, will they be entitled?

Information will be shared with your child/children’s primary school before the end of the current school session regarding their eligibility and when/how to apply.

My child/children are not entitled to free school transport but wish to use a dedicated school bus operating in the area?

There will be limited spare seats on school buses known as “privilege seat” which are available to families of children in that area. This facility is not available for use on service buses. Should you wish to apply, please write to providing full details of your child/children’s home address, what school and what address the request is to and from. Further information regarding this procedure will be provided following application. Please note there is a charge for this service.

My child/children are no longer entitled and I wish to appeal?

Where the distance is within the mileage following recognised pathways, the Council is unable to consider an appeal.

Should you believe that your home address is more than the distance required under the new policy, please write to where your individual application will be reviewed between April and June 2023.

I wish to complain about the change in policy

Complaints can be made using the online form on the complaints page or by email to