Free bus travel trial for Year 6 school children thanks to council partnership

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Mayor Dave Hodgson with Y6 pupils

To encourage Year 6 school children in parts of Bedford Borough to ‘Try a Bus’, a partnership between bus companies and the Borough Council is offering free bus travel.

The aim is to encourage students in the Cygnet area of Bedford Borough to use
the bus as part of their journey to secondary school.

The scheme is a joint partnership with Stagecoach East, Grant Palmer, Uno
and Bedford Borough Council.

The Year 6 students, in their last year of primary school, can take the bus to their future secondary school for free, to try out the journey. The initiative hopes to encourage more students to use the bus to travel to their new secondary school during term time.

Bedford Borough Council’s Sustainable Transport Team will give Year 6 students a
‘Try a Bus’ voucher to present to bus drivers.

The voucher can be exchanged for a one or two Cygnet day pass for free travel, either travelling alone or with a parent, carer or friend, on the route to their future secondary school in Bedford.

The Cygnet day pass provides travel on Grant Palmer, Stagecoach and Uno services around
Bedford.

The ‘Try a Bus’ scheme runs until 30 September 2022 and the council will be visiting local primary schools for a series of workshops with Year 6 students.

To launch the ‘Try a Bus’ scheme Stagecoach East will be bringing a bus to some schools to help students familiarise themselves with using public transport and Mayor Dave Hodgson will join Stagecoach East staff, too, to highlight the benefits of bus travel.

Darren Roe, Managing Director at Stagecoach East, said: “The ‘Try a Bus’ scheme
will help educate primary school pupils in Bedford about using public transport to
travel to school.

“It’s important that children feel capable of using public transport as they mature and
progress into secondary education, so we hope this initiative will inspire their
confidence in using our bus services in Bedford to travel to school.

“And of course, the more people, of all ages, using local bus services, the more we help reduce the number of cars on our roads, and lower carbon emissions in our communities.”

Mayor Dave Hodgson said: “Giving Year 6 students a voucher for free bus travel and
the opportunity to experience their future secondary school bus journey for free, will
hopefully encourage more pupils to use public transport in the future.

“Public transport is a great way for us all to reduce our emissions, and reduce the
level of traffic on our roads. This initiative is running until 30 September and I really
encourage pupils to get involved.

“I am looking forward to meeting students at Shortstown Primary School to talk about it.”

Workshops have already taken place at Shortstown Primary School and Goldington
Green Academy and are planned to take place at schools including Sheerhatch Primary, Wixams Tree Primary, Westfield School, Bedford Road Primary, Wilstead Primary, Cotton End Forest School, Great Denham Primary, Oakley Primary, Putnoe Primary, Scott Primary, Balliol Primary, Springfield Primary, Great Ouse Primary, St James’ C of EVA Primary , Bromham Primary and Camestone School.

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