Ellesmere Port and Neston MP Justin Madders has welcomed a new Labour policy to fund free bus travel for under 25-year-olds across the country.
The move could benefit up to 13 million young people, help them save up to £1,000 a year and will be paid for using money ring-fenced from vehicle excise duty.
Labour has pledged that its next government will provide funds for free travel for under 25s to local authorities who introduce bus franchising or move to public ownership of their local bus services. This will support and incentivise local authorities to create municipally owned bus companies, run for passengers not profit, which research has found could achieve annual savings of £276 million per year.
Greater use of public transport reduces congestion, air pollution and carbon emissions.
Justin Madders MP said: “I am often contacted by young people in the constituency who are asked to work short shifts of just two or three hours and tell me that once they have paid for their bus travel, they have already lost a large portion of their earnings.
“Many other people tell me that they have had to turn down work because there are no buses available. For too long, private bus companies have run our services for profit not people. The public purse already pays 42% of the costs of providing local bus services, but deregulated private companies can choose to run only the most profitable services, leaving those on less popular routes isolated.
“So I back Labour’s move towards expanding free bus travel and handing control back to Councils. This would potentially open up thousands more jobs to people in this area.”