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From The Socialist newspaper, 2 July 2014
Kent TUSC stands up for Freedom Passes
Kent socialists, workers and students kicked off their Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) election 2015 campaign with four new candidates pledging to fight price rises for young people on local public transport.
Kent Freedom Pass (KFP) gave Kent's 11-16 year olds unlimited countywide bus travel.
But Kent County Council (KCC), who last year hiked up prices from £50 to £100, doubled the price again and restricted travel to Monday to Friday, between 6am and 7pm.
Originally KCC proposed a £100 charge for a travel card with £350 worth of standard price bus travel. After this was gone, young people would just pay the normal fare!
Students could not use the bus beyond their first term at school, let alone any social or extra-curricular activities. A scheme for 16-19 year olds will now cost £400 for some.
But the KFP is a KCC subsidy to private bus companies, which siphon off as profits any money not spent on running the service. Stagecoach, East Kent's main provider, posted profits last year of £218 million, money owed to busworkers and service users!
Young people set up a "Kent Freedom Riders" campaign to reduce the cost of the freedom pass to the original £50 and to provide the old free 'travel to school' pass, taking the battle to campuses and schools.
Kent TUSC supports this move and demands free travel for young people, whose education, extra-curricular activities and social time must come before private profits.
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In The Socialist 2 July 2014:
Socialist Party news and analysis
End low pay - Fight until we win
Needed: a political voice for the working class
Coulson conviction: Cameron should go!
The great British housing disaster
Jimmy Savile - a Tory union basher
Underfunding crisis threatens NHS
Them & Us
International socialist news and analysis
South Africa - victory in platinum miners' strike!
Solidarity needed against nationalist attacks in Sri Lanka
Socialist Party workplace news
Camden caterers: Fighting for a living wage
RMT: Remembering Bob Crow through struggle
Unite conference debates union's Labour link
NUT: Over 10,000 votes for Martin Powell-Davies
Doncaster Care UK workers continue pay struggle
Workplace news in brief
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Kent TUSC stands up for Freedom Passes
Birmingham schools: Challenging Gove's agenda
London Pride march
Obituary: Ian Whyles - miner, socialist and class fighter
Socialist Party review
Review: Murdered By My Boyfriend
The Socialist 2 July 2014 |
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