PEMBROKESHIRE pupils who hop on to school buses to travel to schools outside of their own catchment areas will have to pay £2 a day from next year, Cabinet members have decided.

The money – totalling £380 an academic year – follows approval of a plan to charge for concessionary bus passes.

Pembrokeshire County Council’s cabinet agreed that a £1 each way charge be introduced from January 2020 for around 250 pupils receiving free concessions on contracted buses.

A report to the meeting on Monday, October 7 states: “The concessionary places are issued to learners of school age who reside either under the statutory distance or are travelling to a school outside their own catchment.”

It has the potential to off-set some of the £6m a year school transport costs by generating around £95,760, less admin and support costs of approximately £10,000, the report adds.

The current passes can be withdrawn at any time if seats on a contracted bus are needed by pupils entitled to school transport.

Cllr Phil Baker, cabinet member for infrastructure, said he appreciated it “might be seen as a somewhat an emotive subject” but it would create a level playing field.

The process of writing to parents, and the language used, and then asking them to call the contact centre which is “on it’s knees at the moment” was questioned by Cllr Neil Prior, who voted against the proposal.

Examples included in the report of journeys where the passes are currently used include, Saundersfoot to Ysgol Harri Tudor, Haverfordwest to Ysgol Penrhyn Dewi, Fishguard to Ysgol Penrhyn Dewi, Kilgetty to Ysgol Dyffryn Taf and Johnston to Milford Haven School.