Kent Freedom Pass: Debate this Thursday

It’s crunch time. Over 15,000 of us have told Kent council to extend discounted bus travel to 16-18 year olds, and it’s forced them to hold a debate on our campaign this Thursday.

My name is Lynne Miller and I’m a 38 Degrees member from Kent. I started a campaign about school bus travel in Kent. Because this year, young people like my own children will be legally required to stay on in education past 16. But discounted school bus travel – the Freedom Pass – still stops after GCSEs.

The current 16+ card costs a massive £520 per child each year. It’s an added cost that me and other families just can’t afford. I have two children about to go to college. At the moment I pay £100 a year for each of their Freedom Passes. But as of September I will have to start paying over £1000 a year just for my children to access a good education.

Kent council hasn’t thought this through, and it’s adding an extra burden on already stretched families. Now it’s our chance to persuade them to extend Freedom Passes to everyone still in education.

It’s time to ramp up the pressure. Not everyone who signed the petition will be able to make it to the debate. But if we all email David Brazier – the key cabinet member for transport in Kent – before the meeting, we can all be there in spirit and make a dramatic impact on the future of our buses on Thursday.

David Brazier won’t be used to getting thousands of emails from people in Kent about a single issue. If loads of 38 Degrees members write to him before Thursday in support of discounted bus travel, he’ll see how serious we are about this. Please click here to send an email now.

I’m so proud of how big we’ve made this issue. When I started this campaign I had no idea it would get this much support. Thank you to everyone who has shared the petition on Facebook, with friends and classmates. We’ve made Kent council schedule a debate – now let’s get the key cabinet member for transport on board.

It would also be great if you could make it on Thursday! The more of us that are there, the more impact we’ll make. Students and 38 Degrees members from all over Kent will be there. Here’s the details:

On the day, David Brazier the Cabinet Member for Transport & Environment will meet us at 1.30pm to receive our huge petition. Then at 2pm the debate begins. There’s space in the chamber to watch the debate, and the council will also be showing a live link of the discussion in another room, in case it gets too packed.

When: Meet at 1.15pm on Thursday 18th July (until about 3pm)
Where: Outside Kent County Council, County Hall, Maidstone, Kent, ME14 1XQ

Please RSVP to events@38degrees.org.uk to confirm if you’ve arranged to come.