Jobseekers can now get bus for free
A scheme to give free bus travel to hundreds of thousands of jobseekers has been launched, covering more than two-thirds of routes in Britain.
Leading bus companies have signed up to the Bus for Jobs initiative, offering free travel during January to job hunters unemployed for between three months and a year.
Bus companies supporting the scheme include Arriva, First, Go-Ahead, National Express, Stagecoach and a number of local firms.
Transport minister Norman Baker said: "Good bus services play a huge role in boosting economic growth by helping people to access employment and training opportunities.
"I have been encouraging bus operators to look at the fare deals they can offer to young people looking for work, so I congratulate the operators that are doing so in January and look forward to seeing other offers in the future.
"This move will benefit the industry, as well as jobseekers, as young people are not only a key section of the market, they are the future of the local bus industry."
Claire Haigh, chief executive of Greener Journeys which campaigns for sustainable travel, said: "This scheme will help get people on the move and into work or training. Our research shows that bus travel makes a massive contribution to the UK and reliable, affordable and accessible bus routes can help to boost economic growth.
"In difficult economic times, this new scheme will provide a helpful start to the new year, enabling job hunters to travel around more easily in search of employment, to job interviews with prospective employers and to training courses which will help them find work."
More than 800,000 jobseekers will be eligible for free travel, said the campaign group.