KCC pledges re­view over Freedom Pass

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Countryfile -

costs £100. Matt Stan­ley, the Pres­i­dent of Mid Kent Col­lege Stu­dents’ Union, pre­sented the pe­ti­tion to Kent County Coun­cil. It was started by Deal mother-oftwo Lynne Miller.

Mr Stan­ley said there was ev­i­dence high costs of the pass and travel gen­er­ally were af­fect­ing stu­dents.

“Anec­do­tally, there is a lot of ev­i­dence that stu­dents are drop­ping out, or go­ing to schools and col­leges that are nearer to where they live or choos­ing op­tions based on travel costs,” he said.

“It can only be a neg­a­tive thing if stu­dents are be­ing forced to make choices based on their abil­ity to pay.” Kent County Coun­cil has ap­pointed con­sul­tants to con­sider ways of im­prov­ing the scheme and one op­tion al­ready floated is for the costs of the two passes to be more evenly bal­anced. That could see an in­crease in the Freedom Pass.

Cllr David Bra­zier (Con), KCC cabi­net mem­ber for high­ways, said the coun­cil was al­ready heav­ily sub­si­dis­ing the costs of both.

“The coun­cil has been in­no­va­tive and gen­er­ous in pro­vid­ing the Freedom Pass and post-16 pass.

“There is no ex­tra money – none at all. We are not like Lon­don, which can draw on a huge tax base.”

What do you think? Write to Ken­tish Ex­press, 34-36 North Street, Ash­ford TN24 8JR or email ken­tish­ex­press@thek­m­group.co.uk

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