This means that concessionary fares are standardised to 18 years old, public transport is made accessible for those with disabilities and that no matter where you live you are able to access both public transport and accurate information about services and times.

 

BYC Manifesto 2012-2014

 

At the BYC Annual Council Meeting 2011 Tamanna Miah from Kent Youth County Council outlined her reasons for why she thinks transport should be one of BYC's priority campaigns:

 

The Mechanisms of Transport Policy across the UK

Children and young people make up almost one fifth of the UK population. They are one of the largest user groups of public services - including public transport. Public transport is of huge importance to young people across the UK as it allows them to access education, training, employment and social activities.

 

England

In England it is the Department for Transport that has overall responsibility for transport but works in partnership with 24 other agencies and Public Bodies. Local authorities already have some responsibility for public transport for young people in their area. For example they have to provide free transport to get some young people to school and they are required to write a plan for making sure children get to school in a way that improves their health and the environment (like the use of public transport). Local Authorities are also expected to consult members of the public on transport plans and this should include young people. They also have a responsibility to ensure that public transport is accessible for all specifically considering young people and young people with disabilities.

 

Wales

In Wales local authorities are transport, highway, street works and traffic authorities. They are responsible for highways construction and maintenance, maintenance of bridges and structures, road safety, public transport, active transport (walking and cycling), community transport, transport planning, traffic management, managing congestion and coordination of utilities works (this is not an exhaustive list). Under the Transport Act 2000 local authorities were charged with developing safe, integrated, efficient and effective transport policy within their areas. Under the Traffic Management Act 2004 Local Authorities were also charged with the expeditious movement of traffic in their area.

 

Scotland

In Scotland the Scottish Parliament has control over most aspects of transport policy with Transport Scotland being the Executive Agency that is accountable to the government. Transport Scotland was created at the beginning of 2006 as the national transport agency but works in partnership with private sector operators, local authorities and government. Their remit includes; Rail and trunk road networks major public transport projects, coordinating the National Transport Strategy for Scotland and, National concessionary travel schemes.

 

Northern Ireland

In Northern Ireland it is the Transport, Finance and Governance Division that is responsible for public transport. It sponsors the Northern Ireland Holding Company, which was formed to take over the railway and bus services of the Ulster Transport Authority, and provides financial and administrative support to help ensure the operational delivery of transport policy in Northern Ireland. It is directly responsible for the operational delivery of bother the Rural Transport Fund and the Transport Programme for People with Disabilities.

 

Specific Issues

Evidence suggests that the costs of travelling by bus, rail or tram can pose a barrier to young people getting around*1. There are a number of concessionary fare schemes across the UK but there exists significant variability in what concessions are available and at what age they start. As the Youth Select Committee on 'Transport and Young People' found this has led to an unacceptable postcode lottery for affordable transport for young people.

It is not, however, just cost that poses a barrier to young people accessing public transport; it is also a lack of disabled access. Around 1 in 20 children in the UK have a disability and a 2009 survey by the Department for Transport found that 22% of disabled people experienced difficulties in using public transport. At present only 61% of buses and 46% of trains are fully accessible although the Government has pledged that by 2020 all buses and trains (except those on heritage routes) will have been modified to ensure they are fully accessible.

 

Trains

We already have some of the most expensive train fares in the world *2, but each January they rise even further. Fares are set to rise by 24% by 2015. According to a 2012 report by the Campaign for Better Transport, between 1997 and 2010 the price of public transport has steadily risen above the level of inflation. Alongside this the UK's railway is fragmented and up to 40% less efficient that its European counterparts *3.

 

Buses

Buses are the most frequently used for of public transport linking thousands of people a day to jobs, schools, leisure activities and shops. However, following the widespread cuts in 2011 that saw one in five supported bus services withdrawn or cut back the Campaign for Better Transport have published new research showing that 40% of councils are making further cuts to the service.

 

England

As was highlighted in the Youth Select Committee on transport, the Department for Education carried out a study in 2012 which found that a third of young people in England who are NEET after completing Year 11 think they would have continued in education or training if they had received financial support to cover the cost of transport. The withdrawal of the Educational Maintenance Allowance has also created further difficulties for young people in England using public transport to get to college.

 

Northern Ireland

A report by the Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People found that there are particular concerns that children living in rural areas have to walk long distances to access not just school buses but public transportation on unlit, isolated and/or unsafe country roads with no footpaths or verges and heavy traffic, therefore presenting risks to their safety. This is an issue that appears to be echoed across the UK.

 

Scotland

Although Scotland already has the Young Scot Card the take up rate is low, around 30% suggesting that either its effectiveness or its publicity is failing it.

 

Campaign Focuses for the British Youth Council's Central Team

The British Youth Council will continue to work with Transport Ministers from across the 4 Nations and disabled charities to ensure the Government fulfils its commitments to ensuring all public transport is fully accessible.

The British Youth Council will campaign for the implementation of a website that provides clear and accurate information on all public transport services including times and fares.

 

Campaign Actions for Our Members

What do we want?

There should be a national concessionary scheme to provide discounted bus travel to young people similar to that already provided for rail Britain, the Transport Scotland Concessionary Scheme and the Northern Ireland Translink Concessionary Card .

 

How will we get it?

Now that the Government has responded to the first ever Youth Select Committee we need your help to get their recommendations taken seriously. Taking our lead from the single concessionary card provided by the Young Scot scheme we want our English Members to write to their MP urging them to lobby parliament for the introduction of an Under 26 Concessionary Travel Card

Who can help?

English and Welsh Members

 

What do we want?

We think that the age at which a young person should start paying fares for public transport should be 18.

 

How will we get it?

We will produce and promote e-petitions calling for an Early Day Motion (England), Members Motion (Scotland), No Day Named Motion (Northern Ireland) and a Statement of Opinion (Wales) calling for the standardisation of concessionary fares. (See campaign timetable)

Who can help?

English, Welsh, Scottish and Northern Irish Member

 

What do we want?

The establishment of effective structures to engage young people in a dialogue with policymakers that can influence the decision process concerning transport.

 

How will we get it?

The British Youth Council will produce information on how young people from across all 4 Nations can contact their local transport providers so you can tell them directly the issues facing young people in your area and ask them to help tackle these. This will link with a travel app so you can tell us what the issues are in your area to help build a UK wide picture.

Who can help?

English, Welsh, Scottish and Northern Irish Members

 

If you are campaigning on these issues or have ideas about campaigning activities please share these with BYC by emailing campaigns@byc.org.uk or call 020 7250 8377.

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