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  • Writer's pictureAyrshire Daily News

East Ayrshire Non-statutory subsidised school transport pilot exercise starts next week

The pilot exercise to encourage secondary pupils who currently use non-statutory subsidised school transport to use active travel routes or public bus services instead starts later this month.

Pic - SPT

Over three weeks, from Wednesday 29 May to Friday 14 June 2024, non-statutory subsidised school transport will be withdrawn, and pupils who are currently receiving the service will be encouraged to use active travel options such as walking routes to schools; public bus services with the Young Persons’ Free Bus Travel Scheme card; or a pilot bus service provided by Stagecoach which will run directly from the north west of Kilmarnock to New Farm Loch for three weeks, stopping at both Kilmarnock Academy and St Joseph’s Academy.


Young people are reminded to take their NEC card with them if using the bus services and to ensure that they plan their route so that they have enough time to get to school.


Councillor Jim McMahon, Cabinet Spokesperson for Housing, Transport and Communities, said:

“East Ayrshire is the only local authority in Scotland that provides a non-statutory subsidised school transport service, and with the cost to the Council for this now being in excess of half a million pounds for the 2023–24 academic year, this is unfortunately no longer sustainable. 


“Extensive preparation between our Education service and Ayrshire Roads Alliance has been carried out ahead of this exercise, in addition to partnership working with Stagecoach. I look forward to hearing the outcomes of the exercise following the summer recess, after which, all of the feedback will inform further detailed consultation and recommendations on the future of the service.”


Find out more about the pilot exercise including bus timetables, walking routes to schools and FAQs by visiting East Ayrshire Council’s website and selecting the ‘School transport’ tile on the home page.

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