Bus fare victory is just the ticket

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BUS fares for young people travelling across the city will not rise by the proposed 70 per cent.

The fares will still go up in April but now, thanks to a campaign organised by parents and the Youth Cabinet, will only rise 10p – from 35p to 45p per journey.

The council has proposed another increase of 5p which will come into effect in 2014.

Councillor John Bint, cabinet member for transport, said: “The original proposal was for tickets to be 60p which is half the usual £1.20 fare. Now the recommendation is for a 10p increase with a further 5p next year which is still less than what we had proposed.”

After the idea was put out for consultation members of the Youth Cabinet protested with a petition attracting 282 signatures.

Mr Bint added: “They had clearly articulated their points, engaged with the process and made a compelling case. This is still a substantial subsidy.”

One mum, Hannah Wilkins, commenting on the e-petition, said: “I am a single working mum of two young children who take two buses to school and back every day. This totals at least 20 journeys each week. This costs a lot of money as it is and I cannot afford any more. I thought this was the whole point in getting ‘all in one’ cards so they can have cheaper bus travel throughout Milton Keynes.”

Labour Parliamentary spokesman for Milton Keynes, Andrew Pakes, said: “This looks like a welcome U-turn by council bosses against an unpopular proposal to hike young people’s fares by 70 per cent.

“Young people are feeling the squeeze from rising living costs and we should not be pricing them out of getting to work or college.”