Young people can benefit from cheaper travel across three-quarters of Norfolk’s bus network from tomorrow.

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In an agreement that is the first of its kind nationally, all of the county’s main operators are reducing their fares by up to a third for young people aged 16 to 19 as part of Norfolk County Council’s collection of Better Bus Area improvements.

Transport bosses joined members of the Youth Parliament at County Hall in Norwich today to welcome the discount, which will be offered on Anglian Bus, Coach Services, First, Konectbus, Norfolk Green, Sanders Coaches and Simonds, and cover around 75pc of routes in Norfolk.

Some operators had already been offering reduced fares to young people, but the county council voluntary agreement brings the largest operators together to make transport cheaper for those relying on buses for work or education.

Graham Plant, cabinet member for planning and transportation, said: “These proposals will help young people get to college, to work and even socialise on nights out.”

Tracy Jessop, assistant director of transport and travel, said the county council had shown operators a sound business case for reducing fares, and that she expected other operators to follow suit.

Rob Bennett, of Norfolk Green, which began offering the discount in 2007, said the decision had improved relations with passengers and boosted teenage passenger numbers

“We found they weren’t arguing over dates of birth any more. It gave us a competitive edge and we have seen the number of adult passengers go up too,” he said.

The last Norfolk operator to join the agreement was First, but regional commercial manager Steve Wickers said he hoped the deal could point the way others across the country.

Sarah Freestone, 17, the member of Youth Parliament for Great Yarmouth, said reducing bus travel costs had been a priority, and that she hoped it would encourage greater bus use.

George Nobbs, county council Labour group leader, welcomed the agreement, built on Labour proposals, to address the “huge handicap” of young people’s travel costs.

Will reducing fares encourage more young people to use public transport? Leave your comments below.

6 comments

  • it is not a fair idea.always mugs like me pay up every year when the fares go up.always groups of people getting free stuff or tax credits off the back of the workers.

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    bookworm

    Saturday, September 1, 2012

  • Disgusting.Too many people getting cheap or free rides. Mugs like me keep paying expensive and ever increasing fares.

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    bookworm

    Friday, August 31, 2012

  • When will FIRSTNORWICH and Anglian Bus be putting the fares up?They always win as councils keep subsidising the fares.So they aren't free rides are they--we are paying thru council tax hikes.

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    bookworm

    Friday, August 31, 2012

  • plenty low earners are over the age of 19.They keep paying high fares and get no grants tax credits etc.money given to this means others lose out as its all taxpayers cash.always people with their hands out getting free stuff while the majority pay thru the nose.

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    bookworm

    Friday, August 31, 2012

  • Better late than never, Suffolk have been doing a similar scheme for years, actually helping those on lowest incomes in their early years of work.

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    bedoomed

    Friday, August 31, 2012

  • Good idea, but I have a better one. By all means give this to the youngsters, but also make it compulsory for anyone over 70, and keep them off the roads. In this way it may be possible to go to Norwich at more than 38mph, following a Nissan Micra who's "operator" has no awareness of anything around him or her, and is oblivious to the 20 or 30 cars following, all braking and getting deeply frustrated. Might even make it safer to be a pedestrian in N Walsham as this week's events showed.

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    Windless

    Friday, August 31, 2012

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