The London Assembly yesterday agreed two motions on bus travel in the capital.
The first, supporting free bus and tram travel for young people in the capital, received 13 votes in favour (Labour; Liberal Democrats; one Green Group Member) and 11 votes against (Conservatives; One London). One Green Group member abstained.
The full text of the motion backing free bus and tram travel reads as follows:
“This Assembly supports the provision of free bus and tram travel for all young people under 16 and for under-18s in full time education.
‘Polls show overwhelming support for the policy of free bus and tram travel amongst Londoners, and the Assembly notes that these policies save families with children £350 every year for each child.
’This Assembly sees this policy as playing an important role in encouraging young Londoners to see the value of public transport rather than being reliant on cars, helping young people to become independent and providing access not just to schools and colleges, but to important cultural, leisure and social activities throughout the year.
This Assembly welcomes the provision in the Mayor’s budget made to continue this scheme for the financial year 2007-08.”
Jennette Arnold AM, who proposed the motion said:
“The free bus travel scheme is absolutely crucial. It is a real boost for young Londoners, giving them the mobility to get to and from school, and also to explore the capital. The scheme benefits families financially, and the environment by getting people out of their cars.”
The second motion was proposed by Roger Evans AM and called on the Mayor to look into whether a free school bus scheme could be introduced in London. The full text of the motion reads as follows:
“This Assembly calls on the Mayor and TfL to conduct a new study into the feasibility of a free school bus scheme, whereby children under 16 can travel for free, safely from their door to the school gate, freeing up capacity on the congested bus network, reducing the impact of the ‘school run’ and reducing truancy.”
Mr Evans said such a scheme “would reduce the number of cars on the road as parents would have a safe alternative to driving their children to school. It would also ease congestion on normal bus routes, freeing up capacity for commuters and other members of the traveling public, and reduce anti-social behaviour on public transport.”
The motion was carried by a majority of 13 votes.