Make bus fares affordable

Last week, the Fares Fair for Children campaign in Hastings handed in a letter to Stagecoach, asking the company to make permanent its current £2 child dayrider ticket promotion, and to go further in reducing the price of bus tickets for children locally.

Before this offer was introduced, children in Hastings had to pay £2.70 a day, or £13.50 a week, to get to school – this is considerably more than adults with a yearly ticket pay each week.

There is the option of paying £430 for a yearly ‘academic megarider’ ticket, but many families in Hastings don’t have the money upfront to buy a yearly ticket, and have no option but to buy much more expensive day tickets.

In addition, the child rate day tickets are only available to the age of 16, whereas children are required by law to be in full time education or training until the age of 18.

For many families in Hastings, the cost of getting their children to school is absolutely crippling, and we feel that Stagecoach could go much further in making school transport affordable for all.

This is not simply an issue of social justice: it is also an environmental issue.

Many families who own a car drive their children to school as the bus is so expensive; others may consider buying a car for the first time rather than face paying over £500 a year for each of their children to get to school.

This leads to problems with air pollution, increased carbon emissions and congestion, as well as making our streets much less safe for children walking or cycling to school.

We’re calling on Stagecoach to make the £2 day fare for children permanent, and to go further in reducing the price of bus tickets for children.

Tony Collins

Hastings and Rye Green Party

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