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MS makes 60th birthday plea for bus pass to be rolled out to young people

12 Mar 2024 3 minute read
Alun Davies MS shows off his new bus pass to the Senedd.

Emily Price

An MS who has recently become the “proud owner” of a free bus pass has called for a similar scheme to be rolled out to young people across Wales.

Member of the Senedd for Blaenau Gwent, Alun Davies showed off his new free travel pass during First Minister’s Questions on Tuesday (March 12).

The Welsh Labour backbencher recently celebrated his 60th birthday and told the Senedd he had been enjoying using his new bus pass every time he “can find a bus”.

He said he had discussed with his daughter – who is in her 20s – and his teenage son, the benefits of such a scheme being extended to young people in Wales.

Mr Davies says that due to austerity, the price of accommodation and a lack of jobs, young people have it far harder than some of those entitled to travel for free because they’re over 60 years old.

Public transport

Speaking during FMQ’s he said: “First Minister, last month, I celebrated my sixtieth birthday, you’ll be pleased to hear. And so, I am now the proud owner of a bus pass, which I’ve been enjoying using every time I can find a bus.

“It’s been great to be able to use public transport in the way that the card was designed to enable us all to do – those of us who have survived 60 years on the planet.

“But I was thinking, First Minister – wouldn’t it be great if we could find a way of enabling young people to use a bus pass as well, to enable young people to pick up that habit of using public transport.

“To use a bus and to use the trains, wherever appropriate, so that we can ensure that young people in this country today have the same opportunity to catch buses and to enjoy using public transport.”

Travel

Laughter could be heard from the benches as Mark Drakeford replied saying some in the Chamber “think fondly” of their sixtieth birthdays and the opportunities they’ve had for “longer than he has to use the bus pass”.

The First Minister said it would be great to be able to invest more in creating the public transport users of the future.

Responding to Mr Davies, he said: “We already provide reduced price travel for young people on buses and particularly new services for very young people on trains.

“Had the settlement for the Welsh Government stayed in line with the growth in the economy as a whole, we would have money available to us to do exactly that and to make those investment decisions in the future.

“And I look forward to a period in the next five years of devolution when those opportunities will come our way again.”


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Richard Davies
Richard Davies
29 days ago

I completely agree with Alun that children should be able to use public transport for free (both bus and rail) and it should be free also to NHS and emergency services staff too — I say this even though I wouldn’t be eligible.

Paul ap Gareth
Paul ap Gareth
29 days ago
Reply to  Richard Davies

Just copy Luxemburg and have public transport free. I wonder how much it would cost? After all we already subsidies buses, and pay for elderly and disabled people’s bus pass. Its a bit utopian but it is nice to aim towards.

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