CHANGES to a school transport policy that will have an impact on villages close to Ludlow will not be implemented until 2015.

Herefordshire Council’s cabinet has approved recommendations to delay policy changes which provide school children with free transport to their nearest school only.

Currently pupils from villages such as Brimfield, Orleton, Wigmore and Leintwardine are also taken to catchment schools that are not the nearest to their home address without paying any fares.

The announcement follows a February council meeting – where many members believed they had backed an amendment to stop school transport charges from being introduced this September.

Cabinet claimed that was not the case however, and the charges were still set to be introduced this year.

But after discussions between group leaders, a decision to defer the implementation was agreed.

Cabinet member for young people and children’s wellbeing, Councillor Jeremy Millar, said at the meeting: “Members will be aware of the discussions that took place when there was some confusion. This decision to delay implementation is, in some large part, to ensure it no longer exists.”

The recommendations also included an agreement that the changes will be phased in and will affect only children who are newly entering a school from September 2015.

Post-16 special educational needs students will also be required to pay the same contribution to transport as all post-16 students.