Gordon has said Labour’s new plans to fund free bus travel for under 25s will open up further opportunities to tens of thousands of young people across Blackpool.
The next Labour Government will give funding to councils like Blackpool, who already run Blackpool Transport. The policy will benefit approximately over 32,000 young people (5 to 24-years-old) across the town and save them up to £1,000 a year. It will be funded by using money ring-fenced from Vehicle Excise Duty.
Gordon, said: “This is a great policy for young people which will open up further opportunities to over 32,000 young people across Blackpool. We are nearly double the UK average for youth unemployment in Blackpool South, so I know how important affordable and accessible bus travel can be in supporting people to find and access high skilled jobs and training. As Labour’s Shadow Skills Minister this is something I have also been consistently pushing in Parliament over the last few years.”
As well as applying to existing municipal companies like Blackpool Transport, the policy will also support and incentivise other local authorities to set up their own public owned bus companies. In 2016 Blackpool Transport made £1.38 million, £1 million of which was returned as a dividend to the council.
Gordon, also a former Shadow Bus Minister, added: “For too long private bus companies have run services for profit and not for people. We have shown we can do it differently in Blackpool with our very successful municipal bus company – providing good quality services, which meet the needs of local people, and also make a profit to benefit council tax payers.”
In 2016 Gordon launched his Cleaner, Greener Blackpool Campaign at the Solaris Centre, where he spoke about the importance of public transport in reducing the carbon footprint.
He said: “Public transport and particularly buses are vital for easing congestion around the town, especially during the high season, for residents but also for the millions of visitors we have come to visit. Buses also bring a lot of environmental benefits such as reducing air pollution and carbon emissions, which is really important in working towards a cleaner, greener Blackpool.”