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Uncertainty over free youth travel change

24 July 2020

The London Borough of Croydon fears the Government may permanently end free youth public transport travel in London rather than ending it only temporarily. Since 2006 Londoners under 18 have been eligible for free bus and tram travel. Children under 11 can travel free on Tube, Overground and DLR too. In May the Government announced plans to temporarily suspend the policy as part of its Covid-19 emergency funding agreement for Transport for London. Stuart King, Croydon’s lead member for environment and transport, told colleagues the suspension would commence with the start of the new academic year in September. “It is not clear how long the suspension of free travel will remain in place and one influential Government adviser [un-named] has indicated he thinks it should be permanent.” King said the suspension was a “hugely regressive step”. “Current estimates suggest that as many as 70 per cent of [school] pupils will no longer be entitled to free travel – creating a financial pressure on households at a time when many are struggling.” 

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