This is a short post but i think it is important to talk about one of the major issues which is coming up time and time again through our engagement activity – the cost of transport – in particular for young people. So we really wanted to ask the question – is transport proving to be a major barrier for people in the city? and if so…what can we do about it?!
In November the UK Young Parliament urged ministers to cut the cost of public transport and make it more accessible, and backed a motion urging the government to make it “cheaper, better and accessible to all”. They believed that high transport costs were a major barrier and prevented young people accessing jobs and education and therefore had a significant impact on levels on youth unemployment.
This view has been reinforced through our various meetings with young people and youth organisations over the past few weeks.
But its not just the cost of getting to work. Transport is key to connecting different communities and areas across the city. With much money over the years spent on regenerating the city centre, many families on low incomes from the outer areas of the city feel they cannot share in the benefit that the city centre can offer. This has lead to feelings of isolation in many communities, with some people feeling that their area has been “left behind”. For example the cost to bring a family from Kings Norton into the city centre is now£8.50 – many feel this is too expensive.
At the National Youth Reference Group conference in Birmingham last week, delegates from London highlighted the success of Transport for London’s policy of free bus travel between the ages of 11 and 15….is this something we could replicate in Birmingham?
What are your thoughts? How can we address this? We want to hear off you so please let us know!