Free bus travel for jobseekers
BUS companies running most services in the region are offering free travel to long-term jobseekers during January.
First Bus and Ipswich Buses have signed up to the Government-backed Bus for Jobs initiative which offers free travel to holders of a JobCentre Plus Travel Discount Card.
Those 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 who are actively engaged with a Jobcentre Plus adviser in returning to employment.
Ipswich Buses managing director Malcolm Robson said: “As a locally-owned operator we feel a close tie with our local residents and want to support them and our town in growing local business.
“With Bus for Jobs we are supporting those people who want and need to get back to work and being able to travel around for the month to interviews and placements will be a step in the right direction.”
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Giles Fearnley, managing director of First Bus, said: “I’m proud that First Bus and our fellow bus operators have joined forces and are doing our bit to help jobseekers access employment opportunities across the country.
“More people travel to work by bus than all other forms of public transport combined and this initiative simply underlines just how important the bus industry is to the future of the UK economy.”
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Bus companies supporting the scheme include Arriva, First, Go-Ahead, National Express, Stagecoach and a number of local firms.
Transport Minister Norman Baker said: “Good bus services play a huge role in boosting economic growth by helping people to access employment and training opportunities.”
He congratulated the operators who have signed up to the scheme in January and he looked forward to seeing other offers in the future.