Download the Somerset County Council Bus Services and Route Map.
Travel Bursary Scheme
There will be support available towards the cost of travelling to Strode College by bus in the academic year 2015-2016 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 pelase see the Money Matters page.
County Bus Ticket
You can apply to Somerset County Council (SCC) for transport support in the form of a student bus pass. It allows students who are attending college to travel on any local public bus service in Somerset, at any time and to any place. Application forms are available from the Transport Department in Somerset, County Hall, Taunton, by phoning 0300 123 2224. The County Ticket application form for September 2015 is now available from SCC.
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 Coaches, Berry's Coaches, Damory Coaches, First Wessex, First Somerset & Avon, Frome Minibuses, Hatch Green Coaches, Libra Travel, Nippy Bus Ltd, Ridlers Coaches Ltd, Taylors Coach Travel, Smiths Coaches, South West Coaches, Stagecoach South West, The Buses of Somerset and WebberBus.
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 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.
I am a Somerset County Council care leaver or estranged from my parents, is there any extra assistance available?
Yes, as long as you are able to provide a letter to support your claim (from a person in a position of authority, e.g. leaving care worker or a social worker) then your County Ticket may be free of charge. If you feel you may qualify for this additional assistance, please contact the Somerset County Council on 0300 123 2224.
How much does it cost?
The current cost of the ticket is £675. There are various ways in which the ticket can be paid for. You will be able to pay in full online by debit/credit card, in full by cheque, or spread the cost by direct debit, over 10 months. Strode College provides financial support towards the County Ticket through our Travel Bursary Scheme.
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, the Somerset County Council Application form is now available. 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 7 August 2015.
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 30 October 2015. 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. You will only be able claim one replacement pass unless the original pass is recovered. It is essential you keep it safe, as you will still be liable to make full payment for the pass even if it is no longer in your possession. If this is the case and you lose it twice, you may find it prudent to check your household contents insurance to see if the loss of your pass is covered.
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
County Hall - Transporting Somerset: 0300 123 2224
Smiths Coaches: 01749 830126
First - Customer Service: 0845 6020156
First - Lost Property Yeovil & Taunton: 01823 272033
First - Enquiries Lost Property Wells: 01749 673084
First - Lost Property Bridgwater: 01278 421604
Frome Minibuses: 01373 471474
Mendip Slinky: 01749 344141
Nippy Bus: 01935 823888
Sedgemoor Slinky: 01749 331234
South West Coaches: 01935 475872
Taylors Coaches: 01935 423177
Traveline: 0871 2002233
WebberBus: 0800 096 3039
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 357218 or 357172.