Journeys to and from school in Nottingham 

Nottingham City Council would prefer all children to walk from home to school to encourage exercise and promote children's health.

For reasons that vary across the city, this is not always possible and travel options should be investigated for suitable transport or that the school is within walking or cycling distance from home.

For some children, regardless of their proximity to school, walking is not an option. Where this is the case the Council would prefer pupils to use public transport services instead of travelling by car.

Bus and tram services pass nearby to every secondary school in the City of Nottingham. Bus and tram operators offer discounted tickets to children aged under 16 years.

Every parent or carer has a responsibility to ensure their child's regular attendance at school and this may involve accompanying your child all or part of the way to school. In some cases, the Council may offer assistance with travel if the school your child is attending is the designated school (the catchment school for the area you live in) or nearest school to your home address. However, this is dependent on the age of your child and the distance from your home to the school. Assistance will normally be offered in the form of a bus pass.

Is your child moving up to Secondary education in September?

  • If you chose a school further away than your catchment, please remember you are NOT likely to be eligible for free transport
  • Can your child walk to the school and what might that journey be like in the winter?
  • Are there other children nearby that your child could walk to school with?
  • Can they cycle to school and does the school have bicycle storage facilities?
  • What are the local buses and where are the bus stops?
  • Do you know the daily, monthly and yearly fares you can expect to pay?
  • How realistic would it be to take your child to school by car, and what if there are days when you can't?
  • What option gives you flexibility when your child joins after-school clubs?
  • If you depend on a free bus pass, have you checked beforehand that your child qualifies for one, and which bus would they catch?

General Criteria 

Transport will only be considered if the pupil lives more than 3 miles walking distance from their designated school.

Parents should bear this in mind when making their choice of school as travel assistance will not normally be considered for pupils attending a preferred school unless this school is nearer than their designated school and over the prescribed walking distance.

Low Income Families

Secondary School Pupils Aged 11 to 16

Free transport will be provided to eligible pupils who are in receipt of Free School Meals or whose parents are in receipt of the maximum level of Working Tax Credit.

Transport is provided for any of the 3 nearest available secondary schools to their home address if these schools are more than two miles walking distance and less than six miles driving distance away from home.

If you wish to apply for a free bus pass for the academic year please download and complete this application and return it to the address at the bottom of the form.

Secondary School Pupils attending faith schools

All children attending faith or single sex secondary schools are not entitled to free school transport unless they qualify on the grounds of *low income and meet all the following eligibility criteria.

Eligibility criteria 

  • Attending their designated or catchment (or nearest) faith school
  • The school confirmed on the application that the pupil is attending on grounds of religion or belief
  • The walking distance is over 2 miles, but no more than 6 miles between the home address and school

*Low income relates to the pupil being entitled to Free School Meals, or the family receiving the maximum level of Working Tax Credit.

U16 Application for Free Travel 2021-22

School Transport Policy

Useful Links

Nottingham City Transport 


If you would like further information or wish to discuss a particular issue please contact The Passenger Transport Team on 0115 876 1464 or email

Contact Us

Passenger Transport Operations
People’s Directorate
Building 5 Woolsthorpe Depot
Woolsthorpe Close

Tel: 0115 876 1464

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