MP for Penrith and The Border, Dr Neil Hudson, has pushed Cumbria’s new unitary authorities to continue the progress being made on post-16 transport so local youngsters can achieve their dreams.
Currently young people are mandated by law to remain in education or training until they are 18 years old, however legally there is no requirement for councils to provide transport for them to access said education or training. For youngsters across rural youngsters this can often mean the choice between eye-watering travel bills or limiting their options and taking negative life-changing decisions.
This clearly penalises our young folk living in rural areas, and it must change.
Dr Hudson’s fair post-16 transport campaign has so far helped secure a dedicated bus service for the young people of Alston Moor who face a 20-mile journey to the nearest sixth form college, as well as bursary scheme for Cumbrian youngsters with unique cases of rural isolation.
On April 1st local government in Cumbria will be reorganised with two unitary authorities – Cumberland Council and Westmorland and Furness Council – taking charge of a range of services including education and transport.
The Cumbrian MP has written to the county’s two newly formed unitary authorities urging them to utilise their budgets so young people are not disadvantaged because of their postcode.
Dr Neil Hudson, MP for Penrith and The Border, said:
“With widespread support from the people of Cumbria I’ve achieved some great wins with my fair post-16 transport campaign so-far, so with the imminent local government reorganisation we cannot falter on securing a better future for our young people.
“Speaking to some of the brilliant young people benefiting from the Alston bus service and Eden bursary scheme, it is instantly clear just how important this issue is and how much of a positive impact local government decisions can make on people’s lives.
“As I put in my letter, I urge the councils to ensure our young people are not disadvantaged, and our rural communities are not unfairly penalised by the council funding choices being made. The new unitaries must take this baton forward to fund post 16 transport for our Cumbrian young folk.”