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Barking & Dagenham College says “Keep free travel for under 18s”

@BarkingCollege is backing @CPAGUK campaign #DontZaptheZip to keep travel in London free for under 18s 

Barking & Dagenham College is backing a campaign led by the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) for the reinstatement of free travel for all under 18s:

Don’t Zap the Zip: Keep London transport free for under 18s

Children in London have been able to travel around the capital for free, or at a discounted rate, since 2005. But that’s about to change. As part of its bailout of Transport for London, the government is insisting on suspending free travel for under 18s, to protect public health and avoid overcrowding on buses.

Campaigners argue that this will be a disaster for families with children who are already struggling.

Yvonne Kelly, Principal & CEO explains the significance to the College’s students:

“All of our learners will be negatively affected by the decision to stop free travel for under 18s. However, those with the lowest household income will be hit hardest. This will mean that our learners are less able to travel to college and, consequently, it will limit their access to education.

“Accessing online learning has been a challenge for most people, and particularly for the most deprived households; lack of access to adequate IT equipment etc. due to affordability, is a barrier to learning and reduces equality.

“As colleges and schools begin to open up, we should be doing everything we can to encourage learners to be able access their education and catch up where they need to do. Taking away their free means of getting to college is a step in the wrong direction.”

The Association of Colleges has written to the Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps calling on the government to reverse the decision to suspend free travel for young Londoners.

Leaders from London’s colleges, including Yvonne Kelly, are also writing to their MPs warning of the detrimental impact on young people’s education and training opportunities and the risk shutting out the most disadvantaged from moving around the city could have.

You can sign the petition ‘Children’s Bus pass no longer FREE’ here

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