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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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 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
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.
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.
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
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call
020 7250 8377.