Free transport

How to check if your child is eligible for free school/college transport, apply for free transport, change your allocated bus and get a replacement travel pass.

Is my child eligible for free transport to and from school?

Automatically eligible?

Some pupils are automatically eligible to apply for free transport on council operated bus services based on the distance from their home to the school.

For those pupils who are moving from Year 6 into Year 7 the following September, we’re able to work this out as soon as pupils have been allocated their schools in March of each year.

A letter will be posted in May to the parents/carers of eligible pupils telling you how to apply for a free travel pass should you wish to do so.

Please note: if your child changes school or moves house mid-way through the academic year, we will be unaware of any automatic eligibility so you would need to find out if you are potentially eligible (see below) and submit an application.

Not sure if you're eligible?

If you aren't sent a letter, you may still be eligible based on where you live and your personal circumstances:

Find out if you're eligible for free school transport

Don’t qualify for free school transport?

Take a look at alternative travel options.

Is my child eligible for free transport to and from sixth form/college?

The council does not provide any free transport for college students (those who are over the age of 16, but under the age of 19 on 31st August of the academic year), even if the student received it in secondary school.

However, we do provide college bus/taxi services for students with learning difficulties and/or disabilities. This is not free though and you must pay an annual £540 contribution towards it. Read more about travel for those with learning difficulties and/or disabilities on the Local Offer website:

Help with transport costs for over 16s - Local Offer (external East Riding website)

Any spaces left on these services can be used by students who buy a travel pass. Spare places are allocated on a priority basis. Read about travel pass costs and find out more about buying a  travel pass

If you don’t wish to buy a pass, you may want to use public bus services

Can my child get a bus from more than one address?

Yes, in the case of a split family. When parents separate, they both retain parental responsibility and have equal rights relating to their children. Some children may live with each parent for part of the school week e.g. three days with one parent and two days with the other. In these cases, entitlement to transport to each of the parent's home addresses is assessed and if the child is entitled to free transport from both then they will be granted free transport to both addresses. If the child is not entitled to free transport from one address then the parent may purchase a travel pass if they wish.

If you have any queries, please contact us:

Email:  school.transport@eastriding.gov.uk  

How can I apply for free school transport?

Automatically eligible?

Information for parents/carers of students starting secondary school in September 2018:

If you have been identified as being automatically eligible for free transport from September 2018, you will receive a letter in May 2018 inviting you to complete an online application form.

If you apply before this time your application will be put on hold and will not be processed until after the end of April 2018. 

Apply for a free travel pass


  • return the letter which was sent to you with a photo of your child attached.

Please try to submit your applications by the end of June, so that your child can receive their pass when they attend their induction day.

Not sure if you're eligible?

To begin with, find out if you might be eligible for free school transport

If you think you are, then you can apply for free transport:

Apply for a free travel pass

Please note: you will need to upload a photograph for secondary school children. More information about the requirements of the photo can be found in the online form above.

New to the area or changing schools?

If your child is moving schools and joining mid-way through any academic year, you will need to find out if you are  eligible for free school transport to the new school. 

How often do I need to reapply?

If the child is eligible:

  • Primary school transport is free until the pupil leaves school in Year 6.
  • Secondary school transport is free until the pupil leaves school in Year 11.

You only have to reapply for free school transport if you:

  • change schools or move house
  • currently receive the maximum working tax credits or free school meals. In this instance your pass is only valid until the end of the academic year so you will need to apply for a new one each year, or part way through the year if your circumstances change.

Apply for free transport and we will reassess your eligibility:

Apply for a free travel pass

What happens after I apply?

If your application is successful

You will receive your travel pass within 10 working days of you making your application unless your child is starting secondary school in September, in which case they will receive this at their secondary school induction day. 

The bus route and number will be printed on the pass so it can't be used on any other route, even if it's going to the same school. Take a look at  council operated bus services and times.

How to appeal against a refusal

If you are refused free school or college transport, you can ask for your case to be considered by the Director of Children, Families and School,  if you believe there are special and exceptional circumstances in your case which you would like to be taken into account.

If you decide that you want to make an application to the Director, a form and guidance notes can be sent to you by the Transportation Team.

Contact details:

Email:  school.transport@eastriding.gov.uk  

Telephone: 01482 395554

Alternative transport options

You may wish to:

Can I change the bus my child has been allocated to?

When a pass has been issued for a specific bus service, we will not usually change this unless your child is being bullied, for example. The travel pass clearly states which bus route the travel pass can be used on.

If you want your child to change buses, please email a letter of support from your school together with your own supporting evidence/reasons to:

Email:  school.transport@eastriding.gov.uk

If you change school you will need to reapply from scratch so we can reassess your eligibility.

Can I get a replacement travel pass? 

There is a £10 fee for replacing damaged, lost or stolen travel passes. A pass is classed as damaged if you can't clearly see the following:

  • school name
  • bus route number
  • photo
  • expiry date
  • child's name

The £10 fee is applicable for all pupils – even if they receive free travel.

Buy a replacement travel pass

If you change school you will need to  apply for a free travel pass from scratch so we can reassess your eligibility.