Young people in Britain are being unfairly disadvantaged by cuts to public transport services, according to this study which was undertaken on IF’s behalf by Richard Bourn of the Campaign for Better Transport.
This report particularly looked at the relationship between changes in public transport policy and the declining employment prospects of large numbers of young people. In England, subsidised transport services for older people are protected by statute, whereas those aimed at young people are discretionary, existing at the whim of local authorities, and have seen significant cutbacks over recent years. At the same time, the cost of bus fares has risen faster than inflation, and fewer young people are learning to drive because of the high cost of driving instruction and insurance.
The result: young people now travel 15% less on average than they did 15 years ago. The report argues that with over a million NEETs and two million young people living in low-income households, there is likely to be a direct relationship between lack of access to transport and difficulties with finding employment. It recommends that transport policy should be seen as one of the tools which can be used to help reduce unemployment, and that young jobseekers should be given free transport in order to help them gain access to work.