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Farron calls for free bus travel for young people

October 24, 2007 3:00 PM

Tim Farron MP is calling for a fresh look at the cost of public transport for young people, together with how buses are subsidised.

At Tim's environment forum last Friday leaders of various environment groups in the South Lakes met and discussed new initiatives to encourage young people to use the local bus service. Tim recently signed an Early Day Motion (EDM) that called for the provision of free public transport for young people under the age of 21.

Tim has also written to the Transport Secretary, Ruth Kelly, asking her to change the way in which buses are subsidised from a fuel-based subsidy to a passenger numbers-based subsidy.

Tim Farron said:

"If we give young people free bus travel it will allow them better access to local facilities and reduce the need for parents to ferry their children across South Lakeland by car. Free travel would increase demand and increase viability, which would improve bus services for everyone.

"It is also alarming that bus services are currently subsidised by the amount of fuel they use, as opposed to how many passengers use a bus route.

"Big changes are needed in our local transport system if we want to see a marked increase in bus usage and a marked improvement in bus services."