Labour Pledges Free Bus Travel For Under-25s

Labour will offer free bus travel to people under 25 if the party wins power, Jeremy Corbyn will say on Thursday.

The Labour leader will declare that “young people deserve a break” and commit to helping them “travel to work, to study and to visit friends” in a speech in Derby.

The party’s free travel scheme would be introduced in areas where councils bring buses under public control or take on franchises.

The Tories said the policy was undeliverable but Labour said it would be paid for using money ring-fenced from vehicle excise duty.

On a visit to a sixth form educational centre on the local election campaign trail, Corbyn will say: “Young people deserve a break.

“Nearly eight years of Tory austerity have hit their incomes, their chance to buy a house and their career opportunities.

“Labour wants to help young people make the most out of life by investing in them, which is why today we are pledging the next Labour government will provide the funds to cover free bus travel for under 25s, to support them to travel to work, to study and to visit friends.

“Our policy provides help where it is most needed.

“On average, children, young people and households with children each have less disposable income than working age households without children.

“Young people also tend to be in lower paid, more insecure work, and they spend a higher proportion of their income on travel. Giving them free bus travel will make a huge difference to their lives.”

Providing government funding to councils for free bus travel could help up to 13 million young people save as much as £1,000 a year, Labour claims.

Bus fares in England have risen by an average of 2.9% each year between 2012 and 2017 which is higher than the typical rate of inflation (2.3%), Department for Transport figures show.

The annual number of passenger journeys fell by 70 million or 1.5% in the year ending March 2017 compared with the previous 12 months.

Shadow transport secretary Andy McDonald will claim that private bus companies should no longer be allowed to run services “for profit not people”.

He will say: “We’ll encourage local authorities to take back control of their buses so they can provide a better and more sustainable service to young and old alike, wherever they live.”

Transport Minister, Nusrat Ghani MP, called the plans unrealistic.

She said: “This is yet another promise from Labour that they have …read more

Source:: The Huffington Post – UK Tec


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