South Gloucestershire Council is running the trial of a new youth concessions scheme giving discounted bus travel to those in full-time education or training who are between 14-18 years old, offering half adult fare on all evening, weekend and school holiday journeys.
Marlwood School is the first to trial the scheme and the council is continuing to work with other schools in the district until the full scheme, called ‘Youth Unltd’, launches in April/May.
The council has allocated £1.2 million towards the scheme which was designed following extensive consultation and in response to requests for reduced fares from young people within South Gloucestershire. A typical bus journey will now cost £1 to £2 using the new card.
Cllr John Calway, Leader of South Gloucestershire Council, who helped hand out the first batch of passes, said: “I am proud that South Gloucestershire is one of just a handful of councils in the country who have actively addressed the issue of the affordability of public transport for young peoplebetween 14 and 18 years old.
“Before designing this flagship scheme, we consulted extensively with young people and received over 1,000 responses. We listened and acted on what the district’s young people said and the result is the half fare card which we hope will be a massive hit. We are keeping a close eye on the progress of this trial before the main scheme launches later in the Spring.”
Head teacher of Marlwood School, Keith Geary, said: “This is excellent news for our students. The new scheme will enable those involved to be more independent and potentially enable access to leisure and work opportunities which they may not have been able to previously.”
Improving access and affordability to public transport will give young people greater freedom to take part in a range of social, leisure and recreational activities in South Gloucestershire and beyond.
George Tanner, 14, a UK Youth Parliament member, said: “It will be useful for travelling to shopping centres and other places so that I don’t have to rely on my parents for a lift.”
Source: South Gloucestershire Council