WHIST Leeds City Council aim to double bus passenger numbers - a double whammy for cutting congestion and air pollution - we now learn fewer folk are actually taking the bus.
Perhaps it’s the lack of reliability, the “ghost” buses that never show up or the cost.
In theory perhaps Jeremy Corbyn’s idea of free bus travel for the under 25s could be the answer. Economically it would be good to give the 20-somethings a financial leg-up - every little helps when you’re first starting out.
But he’s proposed something which sounds terrific but doesn’t seem to add up.
For a start the word ‘free’ is a misnomer – every policy, including OAP bus passes, costs money. Perhaps ‘state subsidised’ might be more appropriate.
And, while Mr Corbyn is right to highlight the importance of social mobility in the context of young people travelling to college, university or work, he will be letting them down if his policy is financially unsustainable.
Labour suggests “up to 13 million young people” will benefit from the policy which “will help them save up to £1,000 a year”. What is the total budget? After all, 13 million youngsters saving £1,000 a year does, in fact, equate to an annual cost of £13bn if taken to its logical conclusion.
An integrated, affordable, reliable transport system is the answer. WYCA are right - let’s stop the blame game and get on with it.