Seven young campaigners aged 16 to 19 years old from the British Youth Council (BYC) and National Children’s Bureau (NCB) met with Norman Baker MP, Minister for Transport, in Westminster yesterday (Tuesday 6th March) to discuss how bus services could be improved for young people.
The meeting saw the launch two sets of guides developed by pteg (Passenger Transport Executive Group), NCB and BYC. One is to help professionals within the bus sector work with young people to improve their services. The other complementary guide is for young people on how they can influence transport providers to make buses better. The guides have been backed by the Department for Transport and Department for Education.
The young people also shared with the Minister how they have worked in their local areas to help make buses safer, more affordable and accessible for young people.
The Minister said of the meeting: “I congratulate all those involved in this excellent initiative. The safe and confident use of buses helps to instil independence and is vital in enabling access to employment and education. It is therefore very encouraging to see young people taking the initiative to make sure services work for them and I am sure the industry will benefit hugely from this input”.
Dara, 18, BYC Vice Chair, said: “These guides will strengthen youth voice on public transport – a priority issue for young people within BYC. Young people are the biggest users of bus services and need to have a say. We know that when young people are involved in developing a service it works better for us, and we want all bus providers to take up the challenge of using these guides to develop a working partnership with youth representatives across the country.”
Jonathan Bray, Director of the pteg Support Unit said: “We have witnessed first-hand the passion, optimism and ideas young people have for improving the bus services they rely on. We were keen to work with the youth sector to give young people the tools to translate this enthusiasm into workable solutions, informed by a better understanding of how the transport sector works. At the same time, we know that the transport sector wants to engage more effectively with young people as the customers of today, and of the future. We hope that these guides will promote dialogue and understanding on both sides.”
Grace, 15 from Young NCB added: “I live in a rural area and I really worry about affordable transport to post-16 education. I hope these guides will show people who make decisions about bus services that young people should be involved in planning those services."
British Youth Council Press Office
Telephone: 020 7250 8373
Out-of-office hours enquiries: 07809 507356
pteg Support Unit
Jonathan Bray, Director: 0113 251 7445 / 0781 804 1485
Notes to Editors:
- The British Youth Council (BYC) is a charity, led by young people for young people, that empowers young people aged 25 and under to have a say and be heard. BYC supports a membership of 180 organisations and the youth networks of youth councils, UK Youth Parliament and Young Mayors Network. BYC’s membership have prioritised public transport as an issue for young people and Members of the UK Youth Parliament voted it as their national campaign whilst in the House of Commons, following a ballot of 65,000 young people. Young people are collecting signatures for an e-petition for cheaper buses: http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/25666. For more information visit: http://www.byc.org.uk
- The National Children’s Bureau (NCB) is a leading research and development charity working to improve the lives of children and young people, especially the most vulnerable. NCB believes young people need to have positive travel experiences to develop sustainable and active travel habits now and into the future. Public transport is central to young people's lives and those of their families. Transport services give them access to education, employment, volunteering and social opportunities. Using public transport also supports the development of social skills, confidence and independence. For more information visit: http://www.ncb.org.uk
- pteg represents the six Passenger Transport Executives (PTEs) which between them serve more than eleven million people across Greater Manchester (Transport for Greater Manchester), Merseyside (Merseytravel), South Yorkshire (SYPTE), Tyne and Wear (Nexus), the West Midlands (Centro) and West Yorkshire (Metro). The PTEs plan, procure, provide and promote public transport with the aim of providing integrated public transport networks accessible to all. For more information visit: http://www.pteg.net
- Seven young people attended the meeting from the following organisations: BYC’s Board, Staffordshire Youth Action Kouncil, the Member of the UK Youth Parliament (MYP) for Brighton and Hove, the MYP for Blackpool and two members of Young NCB. Young people are available to talk about the meeting. To arrange please contact the BYC press office.
- The guides can be downloaded from: http://www.byc.org.uk/resource-centre/how-to-guides.aspx