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Young Person’s Travel Card could be rising in price this year

PUBLISHED: 14:08 22 January 2018

Stagecoach bus.

Stagecoach bus.

Archant

A popular travel pass for children in Kent is expected to get more expensive this year.

Kent County Council has announced it will be putting up the price of its Young Person’s Travel Cards if bus companies increase fares.

The price of the pass for 11 to 16-year-olds has increased several times since its creation. An annual weekday ticket, not valid on weekends, costs £280.

This potential hike was included in the draft budget papers, published last week.

A Kent County Council spokesman said: “KCC has made an estimate for fare rises as part of our 2018/19 budget proposals as it is possible bus companies will look to increase their fares.

“However, following a series of meetings, we are in negotiations with the bus operators to negotiate a cost increase below the current rate of inflation.

“Once this figure is agreed it will enable adjustment in the final budget.

“The Young Persons’ Travel Pass will increase in line with this proportionate to the necessary increase in the £8 million subsidy paid by KCC to enable continuation of the high-value scheme.”

KCC policy states that parents will foot the bill of all fare increases by bus companies, not tax payers.

The spokesperson added: “The draft budget does not propose any change to the amount by which Kent County Council subsidises the pass, which is £300 - £330 per pass.

“We remain committed to the scheme and believe it still to be excellent value for money over buying tickets directly from the bus companies.

“The Young Persons’ Travel Pass is entirely discretionary, with KCC receiving no government funding to run the scheme.

“If a rise in the cost of the pass is necessary because bus companies decide to raise their charges, then we expect to be in a position to inform parents by April.”

A proposed hike of £50 for the post-16 travel pass is set to be consulted on.

In a statement, the council said: “Each year the council must consult on its Post-16 Transport Policy Statement and this will take place in the coming weeks, and provide an opportunity for Kent residents to feedback to the consultation.”

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