Young people pocket a great deal

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Mark meets his young apprentice

FYLDE’S Youth MP has been congratulated by her adult counterpart for securing a fantastic new travel deal for young people across Lancashire.

Helen Rendle, who is 17, has campaigned for two years with her colleagues from Fylde Youth Council for better bus travel rates.

And now they have managed to secure a deal with Stagecoach Buses which will see 16 to 18 year olds – who would normally pay full adult fares – get on the bus for the price of a child single.

The scheme, entitled Pocketrider, allows young people to simply show their Pocketrider ID card to the driver to get the discount, which also applies to return tickets.

On Friday she met with Member of Parliament for Fylde, Mark Menzies, who congratulated her on her hard work.

Helen said: “This started two years ago with a huge amount of research into the issue.

“We got back around 1000 questionnaires from young people in rural areas who said they found getting into town centres via bus was very expensive.

“We initially looked at a 50p flat fee but the bus companies were unable to do that.

“We went down to London and met with the children’s commissioner, Professor Sir Al Aynsley-Green and had a number of meetings with Stagecoach to make this happen.

“Stagecoach came back with the Pocketrider idea and we’re really pleased with it.”

Mr Menzies added: “This is a brilliant example of hard work paying off.

“Helen is a very proactive individual and I am really glad she was successful in setting this great scheme up.

“She is a shining example to young people in Fylde of what can be done when people take the initiative.”

The scheme is available in the Fylde, Preston and Chorley areas and entitles Pocketrider card holders to reduced price from 9.30am on weekdays and all day at weekends.

It has been supported by Lancashire County Council as well as the Fylde Youth Transport Action Group and the Lancashire Youth Council’s Transport Campaign Group.

The application form for the Pocketrider card can be downloaded from the Stagecoach website at http://www.stagecoachbus.com/north%20west-tic.aspx

The cards can also be obtained from Stagecoach Travel Shop on Preston Bus Station, Chorley Bus Station or the Tanzo Travel Shop on Talbot Road, Blackpool.

There is a £10 administration fee for the card, but the first 100 young people to apply will get it free.

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