I am aware that for many people, especially the young and the elderly, those living in rural areas and those who do not own a car, bus services are a lifeline. Also, this Government has closed down hundreds of jobcentres, including the one on Eastern Avenue that means that jobseekers have much further to travel.
As you may be aware, the Bus Services Act 2017, you can view my contribution here, allows local authorities to take more control over local bus services and to set fares. Local Authorities can require bus operators to provide non-statutory concessions, such as discounts for children and younger people in full time education or those on Jobseekers Allowance.
Stagecoach offer a 50% discount on single and return journeys to help those who have a Jobcentre Plus Travel Card to and from their sign-on days and also to interviews. You can apply for a Jobcentre Plus Travel Card at your local Jobcentre Plus office. You can find out some more information about the card here.
Whilst I appreciate that this is not free travel for those claiming jobseekers it does reduce the cost of transport and allows you to travel to and from the Jobcentre and interviews without having to worry about paying the full price of travel fares. Ideally, I want to see more support in communities so that jobseekers do not have to travel such distances.
I can assure you that I will continue to argue for an integrated, accessible and sustainable transport system that is affordable and reliable. Ultimately, I want to see the Mayor of South Yorkshire bring the buses back into public ownership so that we have more democratic control.