Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Free bus travel for children 'planned'

Children could be offered free bus travel under plans being considered by the Liberal Democrats, it has emerged.

Deputy Prime Minister and Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg was reported to be "very keen" on the proposal, which it is hoped would encourage older children to become more independent.

Lib Dem transport minister Norman Baker has made securing a better deal for youngsters his "top bus priority" until the 2015 election.

The Daily Telegraph reported child bus passes could be announced later this year as part of a package of measures that would also include the Conservatives' cherished tax break for married couples – a policy which has been ridiculed by Mr Clegg.

But a senior Lib Dem source said it was too early to say whether the free bus travel plan could be delivered and it was "jumping the gun" to suggest it formed part of the party's negotiating strategy with their Conservative coalition partners.

The source said: "This is an interesting idea but it's far too early to say whether it can be delivered."

Children and people under 18 in full-time education are allowed to travel free on London buses.

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