College transport raised in the Lords
Young people should have standard concessions across the country on public transport, says Liberal Democrat peer Lady Diana Beith, who sits in the House of Lords as Baroness Maddock.
During a recent debate in the House of Lords, Lady Beith raised the issue of the high cost of fares on public transport for young people especially those in rural areas.
Lady Beith said that help with transport costs for young people is particularly important in rural areas, where the population is very sparsely spread.
She explained that it is 50 miles and two hours by bus from Berwick to the nearest FE college, and 67 miles by train — which is even more expensive — to Newcastle. As a result, she said take-up of FE for training and skills continues to be below the national average in our area.
In his reply, the Minister made reference to the 16-25 Railcard, which gives young people and full time students discount on rail fares.
However, after the debate Lady Beith said: “There are various restrictions on railcard use which means that young people travelling from Berwick can still end up paying substantial fares to attend Newcastle college.
“We need a standard scheme across the country which recognises that young people need to travel to work or education during peak times and gives them concessionary travel to support their aspirations and the development of their careers.”