The Council’s Lead for young people is calling on the Government to reconsider their planned suspension on free travel for under 18’s.
Published: Tuesday, 13th October 2020
Cllr Tom Bruce, Cabinet Member for Education, Youth and Children’s Services is backing the campaign for Ministers to reconsider their proposal on suspending free travel for under 18’s after the October half term.
As part of this campaign the Mayor of London hosted a virtual roundtable yesterday with young people to hear about their concerns and listen to their personal stories.
Cllr Tom Bruce, said: “This roundtable is crucial for everyone especially the Government to hear about the impact of the suspension of free travel for 18s on all young people as well as their families.
“We have seen from the YouGov polling by Child Poverty Action Group that almost a quarter of parents surveyed believe they would need to cut back on food to pay for travel. These concerns have been raised with me by a number of worried local parents and families on whom this would have a damaging impact.
“We know that the modelling by London Councils has found local authorities face an estimated annual bill of £27 million were the changes to go ahead, and it would cost parents even more – an estimated £83 million a year.
“Young people have been disadvantaged due to the pandemic and we cannot further take away free travel which is so important for many young people and their families. These young people are the future of this country and they will miss out on many opportunities because of this decision by the Government. As a society it is our collective responsibility to ensure they are protected.”
Prior to this Cllr Tom Bruce had written to the Education Secretary Gavin Williamson MP, calling for a rethink on the Government’s decision not to fund free school meals during half-term. This letter also included concerns around support for families impacted by Transport for London’s proposal to remove free travel for children. Read the full letter.