Transport to school and college

In many cases, children and young people with special educational needs will automatically get transport assistance, and in other cases individual circumstances will be looked at.

Frequently asked questions

Can your child get any help to get to school?

Your child will automatically get transport assistance if:

  • You live more than the walking distances stated below from the school (we use a system which finds the nearest available walking route to school):
    • Two miles or more if your child is aged under eight
    • Three miles or more if your child is aged eight or over
  • Your child has profound or complex needs

This only applies if your child is attending the local school or special school that we have allocated them. If you prefer your child to go to a different school that is further from home than another suitable school, you will normally be responsible for transport arrangements and costs.

What type of transport assistance would your child get?

Depending on your child's needs and circumstances, the transport assistance could be:

  • Contracted taxis/minibuses
  • Free travel on school and public buses
  • Car mileage payments to parents

Our transport officer will carry out an initial assessment, considering the individual circumstances of each child/young person and getting additional advice from agencies or professionals where necessary. The officer will take account of the severity of the learning difficulty and mobility needs and determine the best match to your child's needs.

Should we offer you contracted transport, we will make arrangements for a risk assessment to be carried out to assess any specialised equipment or technical assistance requirements before the first journey.

Transport needs will be reviewed in line with an annual review, as transport needs may change over time.

You can submit an application for transport via the link below if you feel that your child may be eligible.

Apply for transport assistance now by downloading and completing the application form below.

Getting to college (post-16)

If your child is aged 16 the transport assistance will not continue automatically. You will need to apply for this again. For further information, please view the Post 16 Transport Policy below.

Apply for transport assistance now by downloading and completing the application form below.

What you can do if you can't get transport assistance

If transport assistance isn't agreed, there is an appeal process you can follow. Contact our SEN transport officer (details below).

To save money on transport costs, you could apply for a free bus pass from Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM).

Independent travel training scheme

We offer travel training to young people with special educational needs in high schools and further education colleges in Salford. The training is designed to help young people to get more out of life by giving them the skills and confidence they need to travel independently by public transport. Training  includes road safety, landmark recognition, decision making and awareness of other road users. The next stage is about learning to use public transport independently, including route planning, handling money, using timetables and being a considerate traveller.

To find out more about the training and to register contact our SEN transport officer via the details below.

Free bus passes

If your child attends a special school and has a statement of special educational needs or a disability, he/she is entitled to a free bus pass from TFGM.

What if your child can't use ordinary public transport?

Ring and Ride and Local Link may be better options:

Ring and Ride

If your child finds it difficult to use ordinary public transport, Ring and Ride provides a door-to-door accessible minibus service for people of all ages.

Local Link

Local Link is a door-to-door flexible transport service that will pick you up and take you where you want to go. They use minibuses or taxis that you share with other passengers. The services can be used by anyone and are available in certain areas. You must book your journey at least one hour in advance, but you can book all your journeys at the same time, up to a week ahead.

Travel vouchers

If your child is registered blind or has serious walking difficulties and cannot use ordinary buses, you may be able to get travel vouchers worth up to £120 per year to pay for taxis and door-to-door services such as Ring and Ride and Local Link. For more information about travel vouchers go to the TfGM website or call their travel concessions department on 0161 244 1000.

Travelling further afield?

If you are thinking of going for a break away, you can apply online to hire either a wheelchair or a commode from the Red Cross for up to a month. 

What if your child needs access to public toilets or changing facilities?

The National Key Scheme (NKS) also offers disabled people independent access to locked public toilets around the country. Toilets fitted with National Key Scheme (NKS) locks can now be found in shopping centres, pubs, cafés, department stores, bus and train stations and many other locations in most parts of the country. Find out about the Radar key.

Changing Places is also a useful website to locate the nearest accessible changing facilities.

Contacts and more information

For information and support on travel, independent travel training, free bus passes and travel aids please contact Rebecca Pendlebury (SEN transport officer) on 0161 778 0402 or email

Rebecca can help you complete the forms, give you more information and answer any queries you may have.

If you would like more information, you can download Salford City Council's special educational needs transport policies below.

More information on transport is also available from the Transport for Greater Manchester website or by telephoning 0161 244 1000.

This page was last updated on 29 May 2018