East Anglia: Free bus travel for job seekers

UNEMPLOYED job-seekers will be offered free bus travel from January as part of a bid to get more people into work.

Greener Journeys – the campaign to promote sustainable travel – has agreed a deal with bus companies in the region to enable jobseekers, especially the young, to use their routes free of charge for a month,

Bus companies taking part in the scheme include Chambers Coaches, Anglian Buses, First, TGM and Arriva The Shires & Essex.

Claire Haigh, chief executive of Greener Journeys, said: “In difficult economic times, this new scheme from Greener Journeys will provide a helpful start to the new year, enabling job hunters to travel around more easily in search of employment, to job interviews with prospective employers, and to training courses which will help them find work.

“This scheme will give people looking for employment access to free bus travel for one month. This will help many of them secure their first job, or a place on a relevant training course.”

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The Bus for Jobs scheme will provide free travel on the bus services for the month of January and job- seekers who have been unemployed for between three months and one year will be eligible.

Norman Baker, transport minister, added: “Good bus services play a huge role in boosting economic growth by helping people to access employment and training opportunities.

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“I have been encouraging bus operators to look at the fare deals they can offer to young people looking for work, so I congratulate the operators that are doing so in January and look forward to seeing other offers in the future.”

The scheme will cover holders of a JobCentre Plus Travel Discount Card. Those who are eligible for the card, which is available through JobCentre Plus, include people claiming Jobseekers’ Allowance, Incapacity Benefit, Employment and Support Allowance or Income Support and actively engaged with a Jobcentre Plus adviser in returning to employment.

Full details are available on a specially-created website: www. busforus.co.uk.

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