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Guide: Post-16 transport

Vacant seats

If there is a spare seat on a Devon County Council contract vehicle operating to your school or college, and there is no public transport available nearby, you may be offered a seat on the vehicle. This is known as a vacant seat. If you choose to take the seat, it will be guaranteed for that academic year.

A contribution towards the cost of your travel is required and an online application (see link at bottom of page) needs to be completed and sent to the Transport Coordination Service by 1 July, for the following academic year.

Applications within the current year may be considered if there is availability on a service.

Is there an age limit or other restrictions?

Yes. You must generally be under 19 years of age on 1 September, attend your nearest appropriate establishment and live more than three miles away. If public transport is available, we would not normally be able to make any vacant seats available.

Is it free?

No. There is a parental charge in all cases. For the 2023/24 academic year, this will be £690. Some schools and further education colleges hold bursary funds which can help towards transport costs. More information on this is available from your education setting.

When will I find out whether there is a vacant seat?

We hope to make a decision within 14 days of receipt of your application and you will receive a letter of confirmation. Where a vacant seat is available, we will send you a payment form.

I currently use the school bus. Can I continue to use this?

Where possible we will try to accommodate you on the same vehicle but, it may not always have available spaces. In these circumstances we may offer an alternative vehicle but, you will be required to make your own way to and from the pick-up point.

Vacant seats are not offered where there is a public bus service available. If public transport is available, we would expect this to be used.

What times will the transport run?

All Devon County Council contract routes, where vacant seats are offered, operate one outward and one inward journey per day to serve the establishment at the official start and finish times. There are no alternative journeys running at different times of the day or non-term time.

Apply online for a vacant seat