More freedom for young bus passengers

by Paul Francis

Children who have a KCC travel pass to get to and from school will now be able to use it at other times on services run in Kent by operator Stagecoach.

It will now be accepted for travel in the evenings after 7pm and at weekends and during school holidays.

The current pass costs £280 but KCC, which runs the scheme, has over recent years restricted its use in such a way that it has effectively become a school pass.

Stagecoach is extending the times when it will accept a young person's Freedom Pass.

There has been some criticism of the price hike over the years but KCC insists the pass still represents good value for money and heavily subsidises journey.

The bus operator Stagecoach, which operates primarily in the east of the county, will now accept the pass for travel in the evenings, at weekends and during school holidays right up until 31 August 2018.

Stagecoach will allow users of a Freedom Pass to use it later, at weekend and during school holidays.

Philip Norwell, Stagecoach South East managing director, said: "This means that students can stay late at school, or meet friends in the evening or at the weekend.

"They can travel anywhere on our buses in east Kent throughout the school holidays at no cost to the student nor the council - all such travel is provided free by Stagecoach. We think that this encourages young people to use buses and is welcomed by all."

Students will still need to scan their pass as they board the bus.

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