FREE bus travel for children in the West Midlands

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Whats the campaign about?

Whilst children in London can travel FREE by bus, children in the West Midlands, including many from some of the most deprived neighbourhoods in the country, have to pay. The consequence is that many are unable to travel, and many others jump the bus, use old tickets, and are forced into committing an offence.

Our Demands

In the West Midlands, taking the bus accounts for 80 per cent of all public transport journeys. We demand that Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), and their parent organisation the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) fund FREE travel for all children up to the age of 18 on bus services throughout the West Midlands.

How it works

TfWM subsidises fares in our area for the elderly and disabled and they fund the half-price children’s fare on buses. TfWM pay the bus companies (principally NX Buses) £7.2 million a year for half price fares for children. TfWM should fund free travel for children in the same way that children in London are subsidised.

We demand that TfWM implement free travel for children on our bus network just as in London.

Benefits

Currently NX Buses checks more than 3 million tickets a year on 150,000 buses. NX Buses say that 2% of tickets are invalid, that's 60,000 invalid tickets. NX Buses cannot say what proportion of those caught with invalid tickets are children, but its clear that there are many thousands. This operation involves thousands of checks, hundreds of inspectors with police support, at huge cost to the public. Free travel for children would be well worth the additional £7.2 million, would contribute greatly to the economy, the cultural and social welfare of young travellers and tackle anti-social behaviour.

If London can have free travel for its children, Birmingham deserves the same.

For more information and to volunteer to help the campaign visit https://birminghamworker.org/free-buses-for-children/