Barriers to opportunity broken: Why subsidised travel for young people is a winner

Young people have been deprived of opportunity and now things are changing and politicians are finally listening.

The recent announcement of half-price bus travel for 16-18 year olds across Greater Manchester was a much needed policy. For too long, the high cost and low availability of public transport has been a significant challenge for young people, and has acted as a barrier to their post-16 choices and eventually, their progress into employment.

There was a force behind me from a young age to fend for myself, to give back to my community and just get involved but the obstacle was the 582 down Daubhill. £4 for a return journey was no encouragement for me to get out of bed and volunteer – what sort of message is that for young people?

After sharing the news with my team of young volunteers at Xplode Magazine, the relief was palpable – one volunteer who takes three buses and a tram to her apprenticeship in Manchester felt that a huge burden had been lifted. Others said it would make it easier to change bus providers.

Similarly, young people are prevented from taking part in social action but now the barriers to opportunity have been broken, charities can support more young people because of a slash in transportation costs, and it opens the door for more young people to get involved.

As a trustee of HRH Prince Charles’ Step up to Serve’s #iwill campaign, which aims to get 60% of Britain’s 10-20 year olds taking part in social action by 2020, I applaud this policy.

We currently fail to make the most of the energy, talent and commitment of millions of young people in the UK who have an appetite to contribute more to their communities, surely it’s only right to help them