Thurston College sixth former battles post 16 school transport charges

Mark Westley Photography'Student protesting against transport charges for students 'Kettleborrow Close, Ixworth.'Dani Patterson Bonnelykke 17 has launched a online petition against 16-year-olds having to pay transport costs. ANL-150114-202140009
Mark Westley Photography'Student protesting against transport charges for students 'Kettleborrow Close, Ixworth.'Dani Patterson Bonnelykke 17 has launched a online petition against 16-year-olds having to pay transport costs. ANL-150114-202140009

A sixth form student has launched an e petition against school transport charges.

Dani Patterson Bonnelykke from Ixworth is angry at the must stay, must pay policy whereby students over the age of 16 who now have to stay on at school or college are having to pay for school transport.

New Government rules mean that 16-18-year-olds pay £180 per term for a bus to school.

The 17-year old, who is studying government and politics, history, psychology and English language at Thurston Community College, said: “Because post 16 education is now compulsory I strongly believe that the transport should remain free.

“I have spent the past five years catching the same bus for free. This affects a lot of students and parents across Suffolk so I’m hoping we get a lot of support.

“It’s outrageous that people have to find £540 a year and are being made to pay for something they have no control over.”

Dani is deputy youth parliament member for the Bury St Edmunds constituency.

Her petition on the change.org website states “When a child is in post-16 education, the cost of bus fares should be significantly reduced or scrapped altogether, particularly if they are going to the relevant catchment sixth form or college.

“I strongly believe that having access to the facility in which you are being educated should be government funded as it is now compulsory.”

To sign up to Dani’s campaign go to www.change.org and search Dani Bonnelykke.

Some of the responses on Dani’s petition:

Louise Gregory, Fakenham Magna: “I have two children who have to stay at school until 18 and the fees are huge when we don’t have choice.”

George Hurst, Thurston: “I strongly believe that having access to the facility in which you are being educated should be Government funded when it is now compulsory.”

SUFFOLK COUNTY COUNCIL states there is no entitlement to home to school transport from the age of 16 and there are no concessions to the £180 cost.

There are bursaries of up to £1,200 to those most in need of support.

The charge is 60 per cent of the cost to the council of a seat on public transport.