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MPs to debate a petition relating to funding for Transport for London

26 November 2020

On Monday 30 November, MPs will debate a petition relating to funding for Transport for London 

The debate will be led by Petitions Committee member Elliot Colburn MP. MPs from all parties can take part, and a Minister from the Department for Transport will respond on behalf of the Government. 

Scrap removal of free transport for under-18s from TfL bailout 

The petition, which has more than 170,000 signatures, states: “To not decide to scrap free travel for those who are under 18. As a teenager who has relied so much on free travel, it has allowed for me to go to school without the worry of an extra expense and explore around the beautiful city of London also. Destroying free travel would hurt so many of us.” 

In response to the petition, the Government said: “The suspension of free travel for 11 to 17-year-olds will help reduce demand for public transport at peak times during the Covid-19 pandemic. This was agreed by the Government and the Mayor of London.” 

In engagement undertaken by the Committee ahead of the debate, it was found that many people would find accessing school, college or work difficult without concessionary travel. If the 16+ Zip Card scheme was suspended, 71% of respondents said young people would find it extremely difficult to access school or college; 57% said it would make it ‘extremely’ difficult to access work, including apprenticeships and training; and 61% said it would be ‘extremely difficult’ for young people to access services, including medical appointments. 

When asked about the impact of the removal of concessionary travel on travel habits, the number of young people who said they would use taxis frequently or very frequently increased by 500%, with the number of people who would use private car journeys frequently or very frequently doubling. The number of respondents who indicated they would cycle also increased by 82%. The survey also found a 60% reduction in those who said they would use the Tube, DLR, London Overground or TFL rail and a 56% decrease in those who said they would frequently or very frequently use the bus or tram. 

What are petitions debates? 

Petitions debates are 'general' debates which allow MPs from all parties to discuss the important issues raised by one or more petitions, and put their concerns to Government Ministers. 

Further information 

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