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Anger over youth card jeopardy

PUBLISHED: 04:30 14 June 2005 | UPDATED: 05:56 02 March 2010

OUTRAGED teenagers today clubbed together in protest at the suggestion Suffolk's revolutionary new youth card could be in jeopardy.

Youngsters at Ipswich's Waterfront Community Centre said the new Xcape card, which offers reduced cost travel, is a great idea and some may not be able to travel around the town without it.

OUTRAGED teenagers today clubbed together in protest at the suggestion Suffolk's revolutionary new youth card could be in jeopardy.

Youngsters at Ipswich's Waterfront Community Centre said the new Xcape card, which offers reduced cost travel, is a great idea and some may not be able to travel around the town without it.

But, as recently revealed in The Evening Star, its future looks unclear after a legal argument with Xscape Properties Ltd, operator of Britain's biggest real snow slopes in Milton Keynes.

The company is alleging that the Xscape trademark has been infringed and is calling on Suffolk County Council to stop using the Xcape brand on its youth card which was launched in February.

Pam Littlejohn, co-ordinator at the Grimwade Street community centre, said the cost of travel means youngsters at the centre would be limited without the Xcape card.

She said: “It enables them to see their friends on the other side of town. It stops the idea of young people staying in one area and saying it is their space and being territorial.

“It would be a disaster if it was no more – and I think a lot of these young people would actually go to Endeavour House and complain about it.”

Kyle O'Connor, 18, of St Helen's Street, Ipswich, uses the Xcape card to visit family and friends and go to Suffolk College. He said without it, he would not be able to go around as much.

Omar Mahmud, 16, of Cobbold Street, Ipswich, uses the card to go to school every day and said it would be harder for him to get around without it.

James Dore, 16, of Melville Road, Ipswich, added that without one, he would have to walk everywhere and would end up staying at home.

A county council spokeswoman said the legal challenge was likely to lead to the card being rebranded, which could cost around £100,000 but that they were negotiating with legal representatives to see whether this could be delayed until September when they will decide on the long-term future of the card.

She said by September it will be possible to reliably estimate the card's long-term running cost, adding: “Our aim is to co-ordinate any rebranding with a decision on the long-term future of the card in order to minimise abortive work, cost and confusion over the card identity.”

A spokeswoman for Xscape said the question of trademark infringement was being dealt with by Xscape and Suffolk County Council representatives.

What do you think of the Xcape card? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk


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