Applications for Free School Transport
Information on who qualifies for free school transport and how to apply.
Application Process 2022/23
Applications are open for free school transport for session 2022/23.
Applications for session 2023/24 are not yet being accepted. Applications will be available before the summer break. When the Application window opens this will be communicated through your school.
What is different this year?
All current school bus contracts will end in June 2022 and new contracts will be in place for the new session commencing in August 2022. This means there may be some changes to the current school bus network and therefore applications should be completed by all new and existing entitled pupils.
All current passes will become invalid as we introduce Smart Ticketing to school buses. Further information can be found on our Smart Ticketing page here.
How do I apply?
Applications should be made using the online form.
If for any reason you are unable to complete the online form, please contact email@example.com or 01506 282320 for assistance.
Please note the closing date for applications is 17th June 2022. Applications received after this will be accepted but cannot be guaranteed to be processed in time for the start of term.
All pupils must have a valid pass to travel.
Pupils who attend their catchment school and live more than 1.5 miles (primary), 2 miles (secondary) from the school. This distance is measured as a "Suitable Walking Route" which is defined as being of hard standing, being adequately lit and of adequate width.
Apart from those who live in excess of the council qualifying distance the following pupils may also qualify:
If a child is attending a catchment school, and would normally receive free transport from home, and the childminder's address is within the catchment area and more than 1.5 miles (primary), 2 miles (secondary) distant from the school, transport assistance may be provided. The provision is not extended to temporary childminding.
A child attending the catchment school may have a medical condition which might prevent him or her either walking to school or travelling on existing school transport. In these circumstances special transport may be provided. NHS Lothian will then assess the child's needs and recommend what, if any, transport is required. Parents should request that their school apply to NHS Lothian on their behalf. NHS Lothian will advise if transport is required.
There may be instances when a child is unable to attend a catchment school because it is full. If the nearest geographical school from a child's home address is chosen and if that school is over the qualifying distances of 1.5 miles (primary) and 2 miles (secondary) transport assistance will be provided. Once a child starts the alternative school, then this becomes the adopted catchment school for transport arrangements. If the nearest geographical school is not selected then transport arrangements become the responsibility of the parent. When a P7 child transfers to a secondary school, a family's home address and its relevant catchment school is considered for transport purposes, irrespective of which primary school the child had attended.
We will not provide transport for pupils in the circumstances below:
- Pupils under the qualifying distance of 1.5 miles for primary and 2 miles for secondary, where there is a suitable walking route.
- Pupils who attend a non-catchment school.
Parents must ensure that children attending school clubs or participating in curricular activities make their own travel arrangements home. In these circumstances West Lothian Council will not provide a free transport service. Some schools provide their own transport for children attending activities after normal school hours.
Getting your bus pass
We are introducing Smart Ticketing on school buses from August 2022 and eligible young scot cards will be activated to allow travel on allocated routes. Further information on smart ticketing can be found Here. Information on how to apply for a Young Scot card can be found Here. If you do not already have a Young Scot Card you should apply now.
Smart Ticketing will be coming soon to Primary School routes and details will be shared after the summer break. In the meantime all entitled pupils travel without a pass on the first day at the start of the school session in August. New cards will be sent directly to schools and can be collected on the first day of term.
If you've lost your card
Let us know as soon as possible using our online form. (Primary) or apply for a replacement Young Scot card (secondary)
Until your new card arrives, you'll be able to get a temporary pass from your school office to allow travel.