New youth travel scheme unveiled

SUFFOLK County Council's new young persons' travel card is to be formally launched at the weekend.The Xcape card will be available free to 95,000 young people aged between five and 19 living in the county, regardless of whether or not they are in full-time education.

SUFFOLK County Council's new young persons' travel card is to be formally launched at the weekend.

The Xcape card will be available free to 95,000 young people aged between five and 19 living in the county, regardless of whether or not they are in full-time education.

Those in full-time education will be given the card automatically through their schools or colleges.

The only schoolchildren who will not be given a card will be those whose parents ask to opt out of the scheme.

Teenagers in work can apply for a card by filling in a form available from libraries or county council offices – or online.

Councillors claim this is the most comprehensive travel discount card in the country – giving half-price travel on buses and off-peak rail journeys.

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The county is spending £1.7 million a year on the card – but councillors insist that it is not coming out of council tax bills.

Executive member Kevan Lim said the card was being financed from other sources – and should eventually attract government support if it boosts the number of people using public transport.

It will be valid on journeys that start in the county – even if they take the traveller to destinations further away such as Norwich, Cambridge, Colchester, Chelmsford and Great Yarmouth.

It will enable cardholders to get a discount on advanced purchase tickets to London.

The card will be formally launched on Saturday at special events in Ipswich, Bury St Edmunds at Lowestoft.

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