Bus Funding for Free Schools

MQT on 2014-02-26
Session date: 
February 26, 2014
Question By: 
Onkar Sahota
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


Does the Mayor believe it is fair that the Government is funding TfL to cover the additional costs of providing additional bus services for Free Schools, whilst not providing any resources to fund additional bus services for non-Free Schools, and what representations has he made to the Government to make this anomaly more equitable?


Answer for Bus Funding for Free Schools

Answer for Bus Funding for Free Schools

Answered By: 
The Mayor

As part of the planning process, contributions are sought for all kinds of developments (for example housing or commercial developments) that impose additional costs on the transport system. Some - but not all - new or expanded schools require additional buses services. This happens when the existing bus network cannot absorb the projected additional demand. In the case of a Local Authority-controlled school a contribution towards these services is paid by the borough to cover the first few years of running the service as the school roll builds up; thereafter TfL would take over. If the school is private then the establishment itself would make the contribution. Free Schools are not sponsored by Local Authorities, and instead their funding comes direct from Central Government. Therefore the Government is doing the right thing by contributing towards the costs of Free Schools. In all cases TfL would work with the school to reduce the size of the contribution by managing demand e.g. by running before and after school activities which spread the arrival and departure times.