A DISCOUNTED travel ticket, which provides 800 Blaenau Gwent students aged 16 to 19 with reduced fares, could be phased out as part of a transport policy review.

The council’s executive is proposing to launch a consultation into its travel arrangements – both for those attending schools and higher education.

At present, students in receipt of the post-16 travel grant receive £150 per academic year to assist with transportation needs.

In the report written by Lynn Phillips, the authority’s head of education transformation and performance, the allowance could drop to £100 in September 2019, £50 in 2020 and fully withdrawn in 2021.

The report also looks into Blaenau Gwent council’s home to school provision, which supports 1,323 children attending borough schools under 16.

Mr Phillips described the current assistance was “generous” as far as offering children, who qualify for free transport, under eight and between 11 and 16 more than the statutory limit.

“The current policy is generous in relation to statutory age transportation requirements; in that transport assistance is provided above the minimum requirements set out within the measure,” he said.

Currently, children aged eight or younger and live more than 1.5 miles from their school receive free transport, while the statutory limit is two miles and above.

Similarly, pupils aged 11 to 16 get free transport to children living more than two miles from their school, with a statutory limit of three miles or more.

If the council were to revert to statutory limits, 549 children would be affected.

“Should the proposal proceed: 800 learners would be affected in relation to post-16 transport provision i.e. if the decision was taken to revert to statutory limits, these pupils would lose a travel grant of £150 per academic year,” said Mr Phillips.

“It would also mean withdrawal of transport for approximately 549 pupils in respect of home to school transport, i.e. as result of reverting from two to three miles on distance grounds.”

Mr Phillips added that if the proposed cuts go ahead, it will save the council £280,000 in relation to home to school transport over five years, and £146,000 over two years with post-16 transport.

The meeting will be held on Wednesday, April 18 at 10am.