29 March 2008

Nationwide free travel for the under-21s

As if the forthcoming free concessionary scheme wasn't complicated enough, Labour MP for Bury North, David Chaytor, has called for a nationwide scheme to benefit people under the age of 21 who are in education and training. He commented, "It makes obvious sense in terms of encouraging young people to use the bus and the train more, to reduce congestion on our roads and of course to help with the problem of climate change by reducing pollution and carbon dioxide emissions."

A similar scheme exists in London for under-18's.

However, the proposal has met with criticism and concerns by Unions and Head Teachers, in particular citing London as an example which has seen a rise in violence and graffiti since the scheme was introduced there.

Peter Kavanagh from Unite commented that the scheme had put his members, buses and passengers in danger, "There's a spectrum which at one end does involve our members being spat at, punched at, kicked, bricks through windows. And at the other end of the spectrum of course is the unruly and anti-social behaviour that unfortunately some young people do engage in."

A spokesman for TfL responded, "Crime is committed by only a small minority, and we are working extremely hard to tackle this element."

No comment was made as to how the proposed nationwide scheme would be funded.