Free bus travel campaign backed
Travel bosses in the West Midlands have been urged to scrap bus fares for children.
Activists from The West Midlands Worker have launched a campaign calling on the region's combined authority (WMCA) to make all bus travel free for people aged under 18.
It has been backed by West Bromwich East parliamentary candidate George Galloway, who said: "Bus travel is free for children in London, so why shouldn't it be the same here in the West Midlands?"
Currently the WMCA's transport arm, Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) subsidises fares for elderly and disabled people on buses. The body also pays £7.2 million to fund reduced rates for youngsters.
A term time travel card for children costs £99.90, with single fares at £1.20.
A spokesperson for the campaign said: "In the West Midlands, taking the bus accounts for 80 per cent of all public transport journeys.
"We demand that TfWM, and their parent organisation the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) fund free travel for all children up to the age of 18 on bus services throughout the West Midlands."
Campaigners warn that some youngsters were being forced to 'jump the bus' as they could not afford to pay for tickets.
A petition for the campaign can be found at www.change.org/p/transport-for-west-midlands-free-bus-travel-for-children-in-the-west-midlands.