OVER three fifths of Stourbridge College students say they are put off from studying at Dudley and Halesowen colleges due to increased travel times, a survey has found.

63% of students questioned by the University and College Union said they were put off from attending college in Dudley or Halesowen from September due to travel difficulties, extra costs and family working patterns.

Stourbridge College is set to close in August with all students offered places to continue their education at either Dudley or Halesowen College in September.

74% of students surveyed said that travel links were part of the reason they chose to study in Stourbridge while 44% said that they will have longer journeys as a result of having to travel further to Dudley or Halesowen colleges.

Travelling from Stourbridge to Dudley or Halesowen is only possible by bus via public transport, with neither town served by a train station.

One in ten students said they were concerned about having to catch two buses and 6% of those surveyed said they wouldn’t travel to either Dudley or Halesowen because it was too far.

75% of students thought that the move to Dudley or Halesowen would mean extra costs for them and their family and 22% of students said the change would impact on their parents’ work patterns.

80% of students said the change would prolong their student working day.

Speaking to the News in May, Cliff Hall, principal and CEO at BMet, said both Dudley and Halesowen colleges were meeting the cost of travel for students.

He said: "“We have also done an impact to travel assessment for every current student and in the majority of cases they will not have further to travel and in many cases they will actually have a bit less to travel. Both colleges are meeting the cost of travel."

Lowell Williams, chief executive officer at Dudley College of Technology, also said that every student will be provided with free travel.