Bus pass cap row must be sorted…

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - ‘when I Saw The Car I Burst Out Crying’ -

The row over Kent County Coun­cil’s plan to cap the num­ber of jour­neys chil­dren can make us­ing their Free­dom Pass looks un­likely to go away. Sep­a­rate pe­ti­tions call­ing for a re­think of the pro­pos­als have al­ready re­ceived more than 7,000 sig­na­tures. It’s a dif­fi­cult bal­anc­ing act for the coun­cil, which has to weigh the need to make con­sid­er­able sav­ings against im­pos­ing a hugely un­pop­u­lar mea­sure. As we re­port on page 20, the au­thor­ity’s trans­port chiefs have sug­gested that they are ready to look at new op­tions but have stressed KCC will still need to save £7mil­lion from the bud­get. A mother be­hind one of the pe­ti­tions, Emily Arnold, claims the changes will cost her £1,000 a year. She ap­pears to be ap­proach­ing her cam­paign in a level-headed man­ner, sug­gest­ing help­ful al­ter­na­tives rather than merely com­plain­ing about the cap. One idea she has put for­ward is that use of the card is lim­ited to school jour­neys be­tween Mon­day to Fri­day. Cllr David Bra­zier of the rul­ing Con­ser­va­tive ad­min­is­tra­tion says that while the money that needs to be saved is set in stone “that does not mean that my­self or of­fi­cers or bus op­er­a­tors can­not think of other ways.” Hope­fully this is an is­sue that can be re­solved quickly and sat­is­fac­to­rily by all sides com­ing to­gether to work out a sen­si­ble com­pro­mise.

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