Religious school transport privilege axed in Cheshire

Cheshire County Council last week decided to cut subsidised bus fares to “faith schools”. Parents will now have to pay £291 a year - £1.53 a day - from September 2008, with the council covering the rest.

At present the council pays the full £750 to take pupils to faith primary and secondary schools. There is no statutory requirement to provide free transport - and in last week's Knutsford Guardian County Councillor Bert Grange revealed that the council needed to save £37 million to plug a funding gap. He warned this might have to come from a council tax increase.

On Thursday County Councillor David Rowlands said a balance had to be struck. “The free service cannot continue in light of the financial scenario,” he said. A council survey found that 72% of people thought free transport to faith schools should be abolished.

This Catholic mum lives up to every stereotype imaginable – and then some