Labour has announced a plan to fund free bus travel for under 25 year olds across the country, where councils implement bus franchising or run publicly owned bus companies.
The party said the move would could benefit up to 13 million young people and help them save up to £1,000 a year. It would be paid for using money ring-fenced from Vehicle Excise Duty.
It said the next Labour 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.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn MP said: ‘Labour wants to help young people make the most out of life by investing in them, which is why today we are pledging the next Labour government will provide the funds to cover free bus travel for under 25s, to support them to travel to work, to study and to visit friends.’
Shadow transport secretary Andy McDonald MP said: ‘Buses are vital for easing road congestion and air pollution, but 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 choose to run only the profitable services and leave councils to plug the gaps left for non-profitable but vital routes.
‘That’s why we’ll encourage local authorities to take back control of their buses so they can provide a better and more sustainable service to young and old alike, wherever they live.’
The partly said its approach would support and incentivise local authorities to create municipally owned bus companies, 'run for passengers not profi't, which research has found could achieve annual savings of £276m per year’.
It said greater use of public transport reduces congestion, air pollution and carbon emissions and that free bus travel for under 25s would help generate lifelong increases in public transport use.