Carmarthenshire county council chiefs have put forward a proposal to withdraw free school transport for all children over the age of 16 as a money-saving measure. Although the council is obliged to provide transport for qualifying pupils up to the age of 16, there is no obligation after that point. Most councils, however, opt to do so.
Plaid Cymru councillor, Phil Williams, expressed his concern at the council’s proposal, saying, “This would be a serious additional cost for many parents, particularly at a time of recession. It might even lead to some children leading school after GCSE instead of staying on to do A levels, or opting to go to colleges which do provide transportr and weakening the sixth forms in our schools. I believe that the county should continue to provide this transport.”
He was supported by Cllr Siân Thomas, who added, “The government is forever telling us that developing the skills of our young people is a key element in building a more secure economic future for all of us. We should not be doing anything which undermines the drive the develop a better trained and more highly-educated workforce, and the council should drop this proposal.”