Download the Somerset County Council Bus Services and Route Map (16/17 routes not yet available).
Travel Bursary Scheme
There will be support available towards the cost of travelling to Strode College by bus in the academic year 2016-2017 through our Travel Bursary.
All students who buy a County Bus Ticket will receive at least £175 from Strode College towards the cost of the ticket.
All students who have a family income below £26,000 (gross), will receive enhanced support of up to £475 towards the cost of the Somerset County bus pass.
For more information please see the Money Matters page.
County Bus Ticket
You can apply to Somerset County Council (SCC) for transport support in the form of an annual student bus pass. It allows students who are attending college to travel on local public bus service in Somerset. Applications for 2016/17 are made online via the Transport Department in Somerset, County Hall, Taunton (0300 123 2224), and is the first year it is run in conjunction with the 'Love the Bus' scheme. The County Ticket application for September 2016 is available on the Somerset County Council Website.
Is there a limit to the distance I can travel?
The County Ticket entitles you to travel throughout the local authority area of Somerset County Council (subject to the individual operator restrictions) and on cross border routes, to and from neighbouring local authority areas, and Bristol. It will not cover journeys that are wholly outside of the local authority of Somerset County Council.
Please note: Where an operator either alters or withdraws a services that does not affect the a.m. and p.m. journeys to and from college for the start and end of the normal college day, it is their responsibility to advertise any such alterations.
What are the individual operator restrictions?
The following operators will continue to give unlimited access to all of their services within Somerset and cross border routes as above.
Bakers Dolphin, Berry's Coaches, Damory Coaches, First Wessex, First Somerset & Avon, Frome Minibuses, Hatch Green Coaches, Libra Travel, Nippy Bus Ltd, Ridlers Coaches Ltd, Smiths Coaches, South West Coaches, Stagecoach South West and The Buses of Somerset.
Slinky will only accept these tickets for free travel before 09:00 and after 16:00 on college days only (Tickets will not be accepted outside of these times). Berry’s Superfast and National Express services cannot be used with this ticket.
Chandlers and Faresaver will only accept the pass for free travel anytime on College Days Only (passes will not be accepted for travel by this operator outside of these days).
If you are not sure contact the Admissions Office at Strode College on 01458 844591.
You must be at the bus stop five minutes before the advertised departure time.
Am I eligible to get a 'County Ticket'?
As long as you are attending a 16+ establishment and the Education Funding Agency funds the course, or attending college as part of a work based learning course, you will be entitled to apply for a County Ticket. Strode College will be able to tell you if the Education Funding Agency funds your chosen course.
What if I am unable to use public transport due to a disability, special need or medical problem?
You may still get assistance on an individual basis and should register your interest with Somerset Direct on 0300 123 2224.
How much does it cost?
The current cost of the ticket is £675. You will be able to pay in full online by debit/credit card or spread the cost by direct debit, over 10 months. Strode College provides financial support towards the County Ticket through our Travel Bursary Scheme.
Is there any extra assistance available for students who are currently in the care of Somerset County Council, a Somerset County Council care leaver or estranged from their parents/legal guardians?
Yes. The 16 to 19 Bursary Fund supports the most financially disadvantaged 16 to 19 year olds and those young people who most need help with the costs of staying in education.
Who can apply for a 16 to 19 Bursary Fund?
There are 2 types of 16 to 19 bursaries:
- Vulnerable student bursary of up to £1,200 a year depending on the student’s individual circumstances and benefits.
- Discretionary bursaries: if the student needs financial help but doesn’t qualify for a vulnerable student bursary. Your education or training provider decides how much they get and what it’s used for. Examples of what it can be used for are, transport, meals, books and equipment.
Defined Vulnerable Bursary
Students in one or more of the groups below can apply for a vulnerable bursary of up to £1,200. 16+ establishments do not receive an allocation of funds for vulnerable bursaries. They need to draw down the funds by completing a funding claim form and submitting it to the Student Support Bursary Service. The eligible groups are students who are:
- In care or recently left local authority care.
- The student is getting Income support (or Universal Credit in place of Income Support) in their own name.
- The student is getting both Employment Support Allowance (ESA) (or Universal Credit in place of ESA) and Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Personal Independence Payment (PIP) in their own name.
Education and Training Providers are responsible for verifying that young people meet the criteria for vulnerable students’ bursaries.
Education and Training Providers set their own eligibility criteria for discretionary bursaries, e.g. they might look at family income.
Please Note: that both the Vulnerable Student Bursary and the Discretionary Bursary are administered by the 16+ establishments and Somerset County Council has no involvement with eligibility or payments.
Is there a limit to the distance you can travel with a County Ticket?
The County Ticket entitles the holder to travel throughout the local authority area of Somerset County Council (subject to the individual bus operator restrictions) and on cross border routes, to and from neighbouring local authority areas, and Bristol. It will not cover journeys that are wholly outside of the local authority of Somerset County Council.
Please note: Where a bus operator either alters or withdraws a service that does not affect the a.m. and p.m. journeys to and from college for the start and end of the normal college day, it is their responsibility to advertise any such alterations.
When are the tickets valid from and to?
The bus pass will be valid from 1 September to 31 August.
When should I apply for the ticket?
You should apply as soon as you have had an interview and an offer of a place to study at College. Normally, applications will be open from the end of May. In order for you to receive your ticket in time for the start of term, the County Council will need to have received and processed your application by 5 August 2016.
What if I apply and then no longer require my ticket?
County Hall have an agreement with the bus companies that a refund can be given on tickets that have been returned to County Hall by 28 October 2016. Therefore County Hall will be able to refund you a pro rata amount for the time used. After this date there will be no refunds available.
Will I be able exchange it for a petrol allowance?
No, petrol allowances are only available for students who live more than 3 miles from a bus stop or if your chosen course is unavailable from an establishment accessible from your nearest bus stop, then an allowance can be offered to get to an appropriate bus stop. You will then get an allowance of 18p per mile to and from the bus stop for each day you attend the 16+ establishment, up to a maximum annual payment of £135 per annum.
What happens if I lose my pass?
If the pass is lost or stolen there is a £10.00 administration fee to replace it. This fee can be paid online at www.somerset.gov.uk/replacementcountyticket. If you do not wish to pay online, you can download the “Application for a replacement County Ticket form” from the information and resources section of the above web page. Please complete and return to the address given at the bottom of the form with the £10.00 fee. Alternatively, please contact us on 0300 123 2224 and request a form to claim a replacement.
What happens if my County Ticket gets damaged or is not reading on the on bus ticket machine?
It is your responsibility to keep the pass in an acceptable condition, if it becomes damaged you will need to return it with £10.00 replacement administration fee. This means you may have to pay fares (which are not refundable) until the replacement pass is received.
If the pass is undamaged but will not read on the on bus ticket machine, please return the pass for inspection and if it is found to be faulty and not damaged, it will be replaced free of charge. Unfortunately you may have to pay fares (which are not refundable) until the replacement pass is received. Alternatively you can pay the £10 administration fee for a replacement and then return the undamaged faulty pass for inspection, if it is then confirmed that the pass is undamaged and is faulty the administration fee will then be refunded.
Bus Operator Contact Numbers
Bakers Dolphin: 01934 415000
Libra Travel: 01373 812255
County Hall - Transporting Somerset: 0300 123 2224
Smiths Coaches: 01749 830126
First Buses of Somerset: 01823 211180
First - Customer Service: 0345 6020 121
First - Enquiries Lost Property Wells: 01749 673084
Frome Minibuses: 01373 471474
Mendip Slinky: 01749 880482
Nippy Bus: 01935 823888
Sedgemoor Slinky: 01749 880948
South West Coaches: 01935 475872
Traveline: 0871 2002233
College Bike Scheme
The College Bike Scheme us run by Somerset County Council for students attending a full-time further education college or school sixth form. This allows students to borrow a new bike at low cost.
Students can borrow a brand new bike for a small payment for the year. At the same time, they pay a deposit and at the end of the year decide if they want to return the bike and get their deposit back, or keep the bike (in which case the council keep their deposit).
For more information about this scheme visit www.movingsomersetforward.co.uk/bike-loan or call 01823 357172.