College will offer free transport

A county college is launching a free travel scheme for post-16 students.

Northumberland College, with a main campus based in Ashington, has launched the scheme that means all 16 to 18-year-olds who study at the college, living in Northumberland or Tyne and Wear and more than three miles from their chosen place of study, will be entitled to free travel by public transport.

The college is making its own investment into the scheme and is working in partnership with the county council, because around 40 per cent of the college’s students travel to college by public transport.

Maureen Charlton, head of student services at the college, said: “We have received a number of enquiries about travel support from concerned parents and we’re happy to be working in partnership with Northumberland County Council who will continue to fund travel for young people that receive free school meals and for second year students aged 17 to 18.”

Grant Davey, leader of Northumberland County Council, added: “This is excellent news for students, parents and the education system in the county.

“We have been working with Northumberland College and other establishments across the county to help students ensure they still get the best education following the change we have made to our post-16 transport policy.”

The college will provide an extended bus service between Berwick and its main sites to better cater for students in north Northumberland, and will also run dedicated bus services from Cramlington to Ashington and from Cramlington and Blyth to Kirkley Hall.

For those aged over 18, the college also provides bursaries for travel and other financial support, so anyone seeking course advice or information on how to apply should visit, email or call (01670) 841200.