All 16-24 year olds in Wales would get free bus travel under plans announced today by the Welsh Conservatives.
The proposals commit a future Welsh Conservative-led administration to the introduction of a new travel scheme for young people.
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Under the plans young people in Wales will be entitled to register for a travel card – dubbed the ‘Green Card’ – which can be used for free bus travel in Wales and as a Young Person’s Railcard, cutting the costs of rail tickets by a third.
Welsh Conservatives say the package represents a “exciting offer for young people” in Wales as well as helping to protect the environment and supporting the sustainability of local bus services, some of which have been axed in recent years.
The Green Card will be promoted by a Wales-wide advertising campaign to promote take up.
Shadow Economy Secretary, Russell George, said: “We are committed to building a stronger economy and a fairer society, and we believe that young people should benefit from the same travel concessions offered to Wales’ over-60s.
“Young people tend to have the lowest wages and the highest car insurance premiums. And whilst others receive a free ride, young people are all too often hit in the pocket – they deserve extra support.
“Travel costs can be a huge barrier to accessing education, training and employment opportunities for young people and these proposals will help to address this.
“Our plans are about fairness, and this announcement underlines our commitment to levelling the playing field in Wales.”
Shadow Education Secretary, Darren Millar, said:“Our plans to extend free bus travel and cut train fares for young people demonstrate our commitment to young people across Wales.
“They represent an exciting offer for young people and will not only save them money, but also help to save the planet too by encouraging the use of greener forms of transport.
John Pockett of the Confederation of Passenger Transport said: “Any initiative that looks to encourage greater bus usage is a welcome move.
“The Confederation of Passenger Transport is pleased to see all political parties recognising the valuable contribution that buses and coaches make, and we are keen to engage in dialogue to increase passengers – especially among young people.”
The Labour administration had set up a free travel scheme for young people in 2015, but it was asked 18 months later. The uptake on the scheme had reportedly been low.