Parents of youngsters set to lose their free bus passes to Catholic schools in Sheffield have branded the move ‘disappointing’.
Hundreds of students are to have their discretionary passes withdrawn as Sheffield Council looks to save cash to meet budget cuts.
Only those preparing for exams at All Saints and Notre Dame schools in the next two years will keep their passes before they are phased out completely.
The proposal is expected to be approved by council chiefs on Wednesday after months of controversy and two consultations.
Greg Freeman , of Totley, whose two children go to Notre Dame in Ranmoor, said: “It’s just extremely disappointing.
“I think they should have at least retained passes for all students who are currently at these schools.
“Paying for bus passes is one of those things that make people think before they choose that school.
“If a commitment is made it should be honoured.”
Beverley O’Malley, a reader of The Star on Facebook, added: “This is an absolute disgrace.”
Opposition councillors said they had suggested the new option of withdrawing the passes, apart from to exam students, months ago, but it had been rejected.
Coun Colin Ross, Liberal Democrat spokesman for education, said: “We still have serious concerns about the overall knock-on effect of this policy and will be monitoring the situation closely.”
Council chiefs decided to consider the removal of discretionary bus passes for faith school students as it would save the council £294,000 a year.
A second consultation was held after the first decision to withdraw them was called in for further scrutiny.
Coun Jackie Drayton, cabinet member for children, young people and families, said: “I’m pleased we have found a way to avoid disruption for those pupils who are entering their exam years, but let us not forget it is a direct result of cuts to our budget.”