KCC Travel Saver
Information from Kent County Council:
Please note that KCC Travel Saver is aiming to be open mid-July for applications.
- More than ever we are needing to ensure that parents carefully consider their application and how any possible changes to school attendance patterns, guidance about the use of buses etc. could influence likely travel habits. Less regular use of the pass for example could affect the value that it represents to parents so this should be considered before buying the product. If travelling less frequently, then shorter period tickets bought directly from operators may represent better value.
- Owing to our current remote working status and as we have a significantly reduced application window to work within, this year we are unable to accept postal applications and all must be completed on-line.
- This has enabled us to push the application deadline back. To be sure of passes being ready at schools for collection in the first week of term, applications need to be made by 9th August.
Compensation for current passes
We wanted to let you know about compensation for this year’s Travel Saver schemes and plans for opening up applications for the start of the academic year in September.
Refunds for unused passes
We have been carefully considering the best way to make sure more than 25,000 parents are fairly compensated for the months that their child has not been able to use their pass as a result of the partial closure of schools.
The situation is complex because of the nature of how we subsidise the schemes and how people choose to pay for their pass. Consistent with Government advice, we are also continuing to pay bus operators to protect future services, meaning our costs to provide this scheme have not reduced.
There are also different terms and conditions for each scheme – refunds are only available to 16+ customers.
Now that we have some clarity about plans for pupils returning to schools we will provide compensation in the following ways:
For under-16 Travel Saver scheme:
Given the current circumstances, we think it is only fair to provide some form of compensation to parents as a gesture of goodwill for the missed benefit of not being able to use the Travel Saver passes.
- If parents paid by instalment and therefore would have had an outstanding amount left to pay (which we did not collect at the time), as a way of compensating them we will not be seeking to collect this outstanding payment.
- If parents paid in full we will compensate them with an amount that equates to the most common highest value of the final payment that parents who paid by instalment would have paid.
- For the 16+ Travel Saver scheme:
The terms and conditions of this scheme allow for refunds, based on the number of full school terms remaining within that school year at the point of cancellation. We have calculated that a refund of £123.34 will be due (because there were two full terms left in the school year).
- If a parent paid in full when they applied, we will refund them in accordance with the terms and conditions of the scheme.
- If a parent paid by direct debit, who will have an outstanding payment to make, this will be deducted from the refund amount and we will pay them the balance due into their bank account.
We have more than 25,000 records to reconcile and then over 10,000 payments to process which will take some time to do, but we hope to complete this within the next 6 – 8 weeks. You do not need to contact us before this date as we will not be able to provide any further information or process payments any quicker. We do appreciate your continued patience.
There is no need for students or parents to send us this year’s passes as they are still valid for this school year and we don’t need them to process payments.
Applications for September passes
If parents wish to apply for a pass for the new school year, we intend to open for applications by mid-July. We will be writing to them to confirm when we are open for applications.
Please note that this year, we will be unable to receive postal applications so all applications will need to be made on-line.
We know that parents have a difficult decision to make about whether or not to apply for a pass, given that none of us knows exactly the basis on which schools will reopen in September. Usually, the pass saves parents about half of the cost of a bus season ticket and represents exceptional value for money but this year, we are encouraging them to think carefully about whether any changes to attendance or travel patterns affects this.
We are, of course, emailing parents directly to explain the above, and full details are available on the KCC website but your support communicating this message to parents will also be appreciated.
For more information and to apply please click HERE