Decision to scrap free travel for under-18s in London ‘heartless’ – Ruth Cadbury MP

August 27, 2020 / by Matt Smith

Ruth Cadbury MP has written to the Under-Secretary of State for Transport, Rachel Maclean, to call on the Government to reverse its decision to scrap free travel for under-18s in London.

After a ‘well-attended’ adjournment debate last month, Ruth has written to the Government to seek clarifications on a number of points.

In the letter Ruth asked the Government to confirm the costs of administrating the new system, asked for a copy of the equalities impact and asked whether the Government have carried out any consultation with schools, colleges or local authorities.

Not implemented yet

The date that free travel for under 18s will be suspended has not yet been confirmed, since many are still battling with the Government to stop it from happening.

The Mayor of London website states: “We know this is causing uncertainty for children, families and schools.

“As soon as it is clear how this proposal will be progressed we will communicate that decision to everyone affected.”

TfL say discussions are ongoing.

‘Huge impact on so many families’

‘‘The decision by the Government to scrap free travel for under-18s during a pandemic and an economic crisis is simply wrong. I’ve had dozens of parents, teachers and young people contact me to tell how worried they are about this decision” she said.

“This is going to have a huge impact on so many families, especially those who are already struggling to pay the bills. Local parents have told me that the extra cost will simply be too much.

“Additionally, walking and cycling to school simply isn’t an option for every child; either because of the cost of owning and storing a bike or because of the long distance they have to travel. Over 20% of children in Hounslow travel to another borough for schooling and with it getting darker in autumn free travel is vital for them.

“On top of that there are the huge costs in setting up a new system, especially as some children are legally entitled to free travel under national policies.

“I know how concerned families across London are about this decision and I will keep campaigning and calling for the Government to reverse this heartless decision”.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Government’s downgrading of A-Level results a ‘shambles’ – Ruth Cadbury MP

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