Young people’s bus fares set to rise by 70 per cent

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MEMBERS of the city’s Youth Parliament have launched a campaign to fight proposed increases in bus fares for young people.

Prices for single, 10 journey, weekly and monthly tickets could all potentially be increased by 70 per cent or more when the council’s annual budget is put forward later this year.

This will see single trips increase from 35p to 60p, a 10-journey ticket rise from £3.50 to £6, a weekly ticket change from £5 to £8.50 and a monthly fare increase from £17.50 to £30.

Some members feel young people could be priced out of using public transport for essential journeys to jobs and colleges.

Daniel Morrison was a member of the Milton Keynes Youth Cabinet and the Milton Keynes Youth Parliament up until last week. He only left to focus on his exams.

He said: “There is a reliance on the buses for so many. With these increases people couldn’t access important services and it’s not good. We started using the buses and the All in 1 cards because they were cheap.

“We are already being squeezed from so many directions with rises in tuition fees for universities, we don’t need this.”

As part of their campaign the Youth Parliament will be distributing 5,200 wrist bands throughout schools with the message ‘Fares Fair’ on them.

Labour parliamentary spokesman, Andrew Pakes, said: “This is just another barrier in the way of young people wanting to do the right thing. For a lot of these young people they use these services to get to further education or to a job.

“We now want to bring together a coalition of as many people as possible to support this campaign. As a city we should be making choices to support young people.”

Councillor John Bint, cabinet member for transport, said he would welcome alternative proposals from any group before the budget meeting.

He said: “I accept in percentage terms it seems like a lot and it is a figure we would have liked to have avoided. Frankly it is still a huge amount of discount and subsidy.

“I would welcome any serious proposal that shows how the services could be provided.”