asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether, following the raising of the school leaving age and in view of the difficulties caused by recent inflation, he will have discussions with local education authorities and operators of public transport vehicles with a view to recommending ways of mitigating the effect of the increase in fares on public transport for schoolchildren between the ages of 14 and 16 years.
No. Local education authorities already have power to assist with the reasonable travelling expenses of any pupils. Some use this power to assist pupils who are not eligible for the concessionary fares which may be offered by local operators; this is a matter for them to decide. Questions about the level of bus fares and the rate and extent of concessions are for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment.