NORTH Yorkshire County Council is holding a series of consultations on changes to its home to school transport policy for those with special educational needs or disabilities.

The consultations will continue through to late March and follow a decision by the council’s executive to consult on a number of options to secure savings and bring about a fair and sustainable service.

Proposals currently being consulted have the potential to secure savings of £2m a year. They include removal of the free exemption for post 16 young people with special needs or disabilities.

From September 2018, they would be required to pay for transport they currently access for free, bringing them into line with charges for mainstream pupils – charges which are still lower than many other councils in the country.

Councillor Patrick Mulligan, the council's executive member for home to school transport, said: “We are entering our eighth year of austerity and the decisions we have to take to meet financial challenges ahead get harder.

“We hope people will see that we are making every attempt to be fair, that we are consulting with parents, carers and families concerned for their views and that we continue to look for ways to protect the sustainability of this and other frontline services.

“For some families of statutory age children these proposals will offer real improvement.

"As well as making savings for the council, they will enable families to take control of their own home to school transport.

"They may also provide sufficient funding for families to acquire their own vehicle if they do not currently own a car.”

A consultation meeting will take place at Forest and Vale Hotel in Pickering, on March 3, from 2pm to 4pm and 5pm to 7pm.

For more information about the consultation and to give your views, go to