Independent Travel Training is available for students aged 14 and over with a special educational need or disability who need help to travel independently to a school, college, resource base or work placement.

Students can be referred by Travel Trainers who work with groups of year 9, 10 and 11 students in Special Schools, and by requests from others, for example schools, social workers, the SEN Casework Team, and a parent or carer.

SEND students who apply for travel assistance to further education establishments will be assessed by the SEN Transport Officer and referred where necessary.

After you have been referred a Travel Trainer will get in touch with you. They will arrange an initial meeting with you and your parent, carer or school. They will explain what the training is and discuss any concerns you may have.

The Travel Trainer will work out the walking route to the bus stop and the bus journey. They will look out for landmarks and anything that may crop up on the journey.

The training covers – how to stop a bus, how to ask for a ticket, where to sit, how to behave on the bus and how to solve any problems (for example, if the bus is late or if you miss your stop)

The training is designed to make you feel comfortable and to reduce your anxiety. The trainer will travel with you to begin with but once you are more confident the training will be shadowing. You will be met at the bus stop but do the journey alone. The trainer will meet you again at the other end.

Once you are travelling completely independently the trainer stay in regular contact for a short time to make sure you’re okay are ok.

You can find more information on the County Council’s website

Don’t forget, residents of Somerset who are disabled or cannot drive for medical reasons are entitled to a concessionary bus pass which provides free or reduced cost bus travel at certain times of the day, and are encouraged to use Better Journey Cards to let the driver know they may need additional help.