• Valentina Morales Meneses

Don't Zap The Zip: Protecting The Free Travel Of Under 18s

During the COVID-19 lockdown, Transport for London lost out on valuable income as a result of reduced travel - this put significant financial strain on the transport provider.

As a result, in mid-May the UK Government announced the proposal for a £1.6 billion 'bail out' package which included scrapping the free travel of children under 18.

Officials argue that reducing children's ability to get around for free will make buses less crowded and facilitate social distancing as well as inject TfL with additional income.

Since 2008, Zip Cards have allowed for the free travel of children who live in London Boroughs. They have enriched the lives of many by allowing them to freely travel throughout the city, hop on the bus to school and enjoy recreational activities that enhance social development.

The sad reality is this - it is children from lower socio-economic backgrounds and deprived areas in London that will lose out the most. Children from backgrounds that are disproportionately BAME. This is a significant community issue.

Being faced with transport fees is a terrifying prospect for the parents of children who are already struggling. It diminishes the quality of life of under 18s by restricting them to local areas and creates a financial burden in things that should be readily accessible like getting children to school and college, to GP appointments, to work.

Don't Zap The Zip is a campaign being run by the Children's Poverty Action Group - they are fighting to stop the Government from scrapping the Zip Card and protecting the quality of life of children from economically deprived backgrounds who will suffer most as a result.

Below you can find some useful links.

We can all make a difference:

Email Your MP: https://act.cpag.org.uk/page/63090/action/

Sign The Petition: https://www.change.org/p/boris-johnson-suspended-children-s-free-bus-pass



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