Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Student Rider bus ticket scrapped on the Isle of Wight

The Student Rider bus ticket which enables young people on the Isle of Wight to travel to school for £2.40 a day is being scrapped.

The service will be cut on 1 September and, according to the youth council, will mean some pupils having to spend £7 a day.

Southern Vectis, the bus service provider, has refused to comment.

Council leader David Pugh said the decision had been taken because of recent government spending cuts.

'Benefits young'

He said: "While a popular scheme, Student Rider is not a statutory one and the council is one of only a few authorities to operate such an initiative.

"It is however costly and ceasing the scheme will save council taxpayers around half a million pounds a year."

Ben Yates, chair of the Isle of Wight Youth Council, said: "The Student Rider scheme benefits the young both for school and social travel.

"I think the council needs to listen to us and think about what else can be changed [instead]."

Under the current scheme every school child on the island is given a Student Rider pass by the council.

This allows pupils to get a discounted fare of £1.20 per single journey. Return tickets are not available.

However, according to the youth council, without the discounted ticket child rates only apply to under 14s, so everyone else would have to pay a full adult fare, which is currently £3.50 per single journey.

If students live more than two miles from their primary school or three miles from their middle school they can apply for free travel.

This will not change under new plans, but it only covers journeys to and from school.

Mr Pugh said: "The council will seek to encourage Southern Vectis to introduce new discounted travel that is both commercially viable and affordable to young people."

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