Labour group at Norfolk County Council unveil cut price bus travel proposal for young people

Young people in Norfolk could get half-price bus travel if the county council were to dip into �1.7m of unspent money, according to the Labour group at County Hall.

Unveiling their alternative budget, Labour are proposing an amendment that they say will halve the transport cost for most of the county's five to 19-year-olds and help tackle rural isolation.

A card entitling young people to half-fare could, Labour say, be funded in future years by a �1.756m underspend which is this year being used as a one-off investment in highways maintenance.

For this year, the funding could be covered thanks to a forecast revenue underspend, with a �4 annual charge for the cards covering administration costs.

George Nobbs, Labour leader, said: 'This budget amendment proposal is easy to understand, simple to implement, does the most good for the greatest number of people, is real value for money, is both financially sound and sustainable and is, above all, fair.

'The background reasoning for this is, in large part, the plight of Norfolk's young people, so many of whom live in small towns and villages. Recent cuts and changes to funding has left them facing very high costs in getting to school or college, looking for jobs and attending interviews, or simply meeting their friends and leading the sort of life that we used to take for granted.

'Bus fares are getting higher at the same time as the government and councils are cutting back and it's become a serious burden for young people. That's why we have decided to limit our amendment to this one simple proposal.'

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The Conservative-run council is set to confirm its budget on Monday, February 13.

dan.grimmer@archant.co.uk

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