Crawley’s Youth Mayor says council plans to scrap a young person’s travel card scheme are ‘absolutely disgusting’.
Sam Trumpeter, 18, said low-income families would be hardest hit if West Sussex County Council axed its 3in1 cards.
Crawley youth councillors gathered near Crawley Bus Station to launch their online petition against the proposals on Friday (March 4).
Sam, from Maidenbower, said: “There are so many families that depend on it, so many children that use it to get to school.
“The fact that West Sussex County Council are even thinking of getting rid of it - it’s just ridiculous.”
Council consultation on the £50 3in1 card runs until April 8. The card gives students aged five to 19 discounted bus travel, acts as a proof of age and gives users discounts at some shops and leisure venues.
A council spokesman said take-up had dropped to around 6,000 and it cost the authority £1.2m a year. The scheme was being reviewed in light of changes to national legislation, financial pressures, and the authority’s updated priorities.
John O’Brien, county council cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “There have been national and local changes since the scheme was launched that affect young people’s travel.For instance, additional help for families on a low income is available for school pupils, thanks to a Government grant.”
The online questionnaire asks if the scheme should continue, stop, or if funding for travel should be limited ages 16-19 in full-time further education from low income families. The card was free when it was first introduced in 2007. There were about 25,000 cardholders before the fee was introduced in 2011. Currently no fee is charged for young people from low incomes families and children looked after.
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