Three out of five rural pupils in rural England, do not have adequate transport links to travel to secondary school, Rural England has said.

The State Of Rural Services Report says that poor public transport links are damaging opportunities in education, the BBC reports.

Concerns have also been raised about lack of access to broadband in rural areas.

Margaret Clark of Rural England has said rural pupils are losing out because of poor public transport.

The report expresses concern that rural pupils’ choices in secondary and further education are unfairly limited, because public transport can be unreliable and expensive.

Many rural pupils cannot get to school in a reasonable time on public transport or on foot, with their school choice heavily dependent on how where they can be driven by their parents.

The study also showed that there are more people with lower qualification in rural areas- but access to further education is curtailed because of poor public transport links.

Funding for bus routes in rural areas has fallen by a quarter in the past four years, and around 50 percent of people in small villages have no public transport links nearby.

The report also showed that public transport costs for rural pupils are 20 percent higher than in urban areas.

Kirstie Donnelly, managing director of City & Guilds, said the study raised “significant concerns” about access to education outside of towns and cities. She commented:

“The sad reality is that we are seeing signs of a reduction in learning opportunities for many young people across the country, with access to post-16 education under threat from college mergers or closures resulting from the ongoing area-based reviews.

As this report shows, learners in rural areas already face a number of obstacles in accessing training or apprenticeships.

It’s crucial that policymakers consider how they can help people overcome them, rather than creating new barriers.”