Proposed bus pass hike
31st January 2019
PARENTS may have to stump up an extra £60 a year to get their children to school, if plans by Kent County Council to put up the cost of bus travel passes gets the go ahead.
Under the proposal, which appears in the draft county council budget plan, the price of an annual bus pass will rise 20 per cent, from £290 a year to £350.
The pass provides 11-to-16-year-olds with unlimited travel on Kent buses between 6am and 7pm, Monday to Friday.
Council leader Paul Carter, said despite the rise, the bus pass was still subsidised and represented good value for money, and that following the rise they intend to freeze the price for a ‘number of years’.
“Things have been very tough on local government in recent years and many other councils are going down to just providing core services. I am pleased and proud that in Kent we have been able to maintain good services.
"We do need to increase revenue wherever we can and we are hoping to freeze the cost of the pass for a number of years.”
He added that they are also planning to allow parents to pay monthly for their children’s travel.
The 20 per cent increase could net the Council £800,000 a year, but it is a six-fold increase to the £10 the pass went up last year.
Opposition Liberal Democrat leader Cllr Rob Bird was unhappy with the increase.
He said: “It is a big increase and we are talking to the administration to see how we can alleviate the costs for hard-pressed parents. Children from Kent do travel a long way to get to school and parents are incurring quite big costs to do so.”