Children in London have been able to travel around the capital for free, or at a discounted rate, since 2005. However, that’s about to change. As part of its bailout of Transport for London, the government is insisting on suspending free travel for under 18s, to protect public health and avoid overcrowding on buses. This will be a disaster for families with children who are already struggling.
This week as Londra Gazete we interviewed parents and students in relation to their thoughts on suspending free travel for under 18s. The common responses we received stated that it is not right that the government should limit student’s access to education and healthcare and their ability to maintain relationships with family and friends.
The government have stated that they are going to ban free public travel for young adults under 18. This has only been approached due to Covid-19 pandemic. However, this may become very hard for most household as most students travel to school using a bus. Yes, some students may walk or ride their bike to school, but the majority population prefer to take a bus. Furthermore, as I mentioned earlier, this may cause difficulties within a household. If this act does take place it would cause many financial crises within the UK, many households would struggle to fund the amount per week. Moreover, this may cause students attendance to go down as they could arrive at school late as they cannot afford to go on to a bus, so would prefer another alternative.
Taking away free travel for 16-18-year-olds will affect their education as well as their social life. Being able to travel free on buses and with a 50% discount on trains is a huge privilege for young Londoners as this is what they rely on when travelling to school or college. Cutting free travel could potentially mean that they will have to change the school or college they attend, as many low-income families will not be able to pay for transport. There are millions of young Londoners using the TFL every day taking multiple buses and trains to get to school, college as well as their social life and with the loss of free travel, it will have a big impact on the well-being of young people, their educational opportunities and choices. The government should be investing for the youth not taking opportunities away as they are the future.
The government’s decision to end free transport for under 18’s will have a deep impact on children and young people travelling to school and college for their education. There are 4 million children in the U.K. that live in poverty, come from unfortunate and vulnerable families. If the government does not take any of these important factors to consider than many children and young people will face serious consequences.
This decision will put families with low income in various difficulties. Also along with coronavirus people’s incomes have significantly been reduced too. Hence, it is not possible to understand the UK government’s attempt to eliminate free travel for young children. For months, young people have been away from school. It is inevitable that this initiative will create negative pressure on young people while looking forward to the day will return to school. Unfortunately, the negativity of this initiative on families will also affect young people. Many families will not be able to afford these additional costs. I believe that such a situation will prevent some young from going to school.
I was very disappointed to find out that the government was targeting young people with this new decision. I think many students will be affected by this, especially children whose family have financial difficulties. As a mother, it worries me that the government has made such an unfair decision. I feel that the government’s decision to lift the right free public for children below the age of 18 is a new start for extremist revelation. Seems like the government is trying to stretch out the gap between the working class and upper-class families.