Letter to the Editor, Caroline Russell “Young people’s travel has been used as a political football”

Letter to the Editor, Caroline Russell, Green Party London Assembly Member  
Schools are now going back but nobody can yet tell under-18s in London what is happening to their travel – how much they might need to pay, for what journeys, and whether any school travel might remain free. This is a mess, and it’s a mess the government has made.

The Mayor has said that the TfL bail out condition, removing Zip cards, was attached at the last minute. Young people’s travel has been used as a political football, and this is outrageous at a time when their futures are on the line.
Free travel for young people is about much more than getting to school, it can also support access to work, seeing friends and family, and to use our museums and galleries to catch up on the education that has been so hard-hit during lockdown.
The government should give more money to fill the gaps in the walking and cycling budget rather than cutting access to public transport which may be more likely to get young people into their parents’ cars than onto their bikes.

Grant Shapps should not try to steal free travel from young Londoners, just when they need it most.