Fair fares in the North East, thanks to students!
Great news of a success for a campaign highlighted at a Church Action on Poverty event! Chris Hughes, of our North East group, reports.
At Church Action on Poverty North East’s event for Church Action on Poverty Sunday 2023 at St Cuthbert’s, North Shields, a student from St Thomas More High School in North Shields talked about the injustice of having to pay full fare for Arriva Buses.
As part of their listening cycle as a member of Tyne and Wear Citizens, students from the school had expressed their frustration at having to pay adult fares from 16. It meant trips to school, Newcastle for work and or social purposes became expensive and added to their own and family financial pressures.
Attempts at contacting Arriva Buses had been fruitless until the Mayor of the North of Tyne Combined Authority, Jamie O’Driscoll, contacted the company on behalf of the school. This did produce a response.
Students met with their Commercial Director, Kim Purcell, in July 2023. Ms Purcell was impressed with the students and promised to explore what could be done.They had dressed up in their parents’ work clothes to make the point that being perceived as adults can look absurd.
The students were delighted to recently discover that Arriva had announced that as of this month, all young people from 17 to 20 would only have to pay £1 for each one-way ticket. There is no doubt that their campaign was influential in bringing about this change.