Group looking to cut bus fares

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A COUNCIL’S Labour group is looking to slash bus fares for young people so they can access education more easily.

Norfolk County Council’s Labour Group wants to halve transport costs for five to 19-year-olds to give them easier access to education and employment.

The group wants to use an unallocated pot of county council money – around £1.75 million – to fund the plans.

Cllr George Nobbs, group leader, said the scheme was much needed to cut down on rural isolation.

“The council’s own research shows that the biggest obstacle to young people continuing in education or vocational training is the cost of travel.

“That’s why this policy is not just morally right – it’s plain financial common sense,” he said.

Cllr Nobbs added that the unallocated money had been earmarked for highways maintenance in 2011/12, but would be available in future years.

As a result, the Labour Group is proposing using part of the council’s 2011/12 underspend for the scheme’s £700,000 predicted half-year cost from September.

Adminstration costs would be paid for by a £4 travel charge paid to the county council.

Further savings could be made if subsidies from Children’s Services to bus companies increase.