Local discount bus travel card for young people set to be scrapped
Tory controlled West Sussex County Council has decided to scrap a bus travel card that offers young people cheaper bus travel. This is despite a consultation that saw 96 per cent of responses in favour of keeping the scheme.
Members of WSCC’s Environmental and Community Services Select Committee have also voted not to endorse the proposals. The committee voted to support a motion stating that councillors remained ‘unconvinced scrapping the 3 in1 Card was in the best interests of West Sussex residents’, and asked for more information on transitional arrangements and analysis of the effect of withdrawing the scheme. However the Cabinet member responsible is not bound by the committee’s recommendation. The council intends to stop the card from January 2017.
Labour County Councillor Michael Jones, said: “I’m angry but not surprised”
“It shows that throughout this supposed ‘consultation’, the Tory leadership have only been looking to cut this, whatever people responded. I believe this proposal will be greeted with the anger and dismay it deserves from the thousands of young people and their families right across West Sussex who rely on this card. It is conveniently forgotten that it saves our families far more money than it costs the council to run, never mind that it helps relieve financial pressure on those families in the ‘squeezed middle’ who pay their way for everything – the report acknowledges it is all about money. Perhaps if the council wasn’t haemorrhaging money by investing in failing out sourced contracts, recruitment consultants’ fees and campaigns, this wouldn’t be such a problem for them. A scheme that was good for the environment by cutting the number of car journeys and traffic congestion and helped our young people get to the places they want to study is being scrapped merely because the cabinet member is looking at the bottom line. Every area of the county is going to be hit by this short-sighted Tory cut.”