AN ANGRY father has criticised Newport council for refusing to pay his daughter's £500 school bus pass.

Laura Ryder, 16, from Woodland Road, Llanmartin, pays £3.55 a day to catch the Stagecoach bus to Caldicot Comprehensive school, after opting to stay on there and study instead of going to Nash College.

Her father, Roger, says the total cost of the yearly pass is £500 - and he thinks Newport council should pay.

"The council used to pay it, and everything was fine until Laura returned to school this September," he said.

"We've been told Laura is not entitled to a free bus pass because she's a year twelve pupil.

"We can apply for a grant from the council but the rest we'll have to find ourselves.

"Everyone else went to Nash college in Newport because the council will happily pay for the bus passes to there. It just doesn't make sense: the distance from Llanmartin to Nash College is far less than the distance to Caldicot school, yet they're entitled to free bus passes."

A spokesman for Newport council confirmed that bus passes for children over the age of 16 travelling to Caldicot school were no longer free and said the choice of school was down to the individual.

"If they choose to go to a school outside the catchment area then it's their decision," she added.