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Calls for a Devon 'young person's bus pass'

The findings of a major report into Devon's air quality will be discussed at county hall today.

It calls for 'realistic' and 'measurable' targets in getting people to ditch their cars.

But the report also calls for a new young person's bus pass for the county - which is set to be rejected as it could cost £6 million a year.

It suggests that Devon County Council 'engages in a targeted communications campaign to promote  behaviour change in children’s and adult’s travel habits to reduce congestion and air pollution'.

Also the council 'considers funding a bus pass for young people aged 16 to 20'.

The report states: "Buses provide journey options for medium to long length trips and facilitate components of longer journeys by linking into rail journeys.

"Stagecoach South West offers special season tickets for students and for people aged 18 and under in full time education, but young people who have not purchased these tickets must pay the full adult price for bus travel.

The report says: '

Travel habits that will be targeted are;

  • Short distance car journeys undertaken by parents to transport children to school. Where possible,
  • children should be encouraged to walk or cycle to school to replace these journeys. The school rush
  • contributes directly to air quality and congestion issues.
  • Engine idling, particularly outside schools. Idling, or running a vehicle’s engine when the vehicle is not
  • in motion, has been identified as a major source of air pollution.

This campaign must;

  • Have a measurable impact
  • Be sustainable in the longer-term
  • Be timed appropriately (e.g. it should not coincide with school holidays)
  • Avoid a blanket or unrealistic message
  • Be realistic; for many working parents, transporting children to school by car is the most practical option

To read the report click here

Click play to hear Chudleigh and Teign Valley Councillor Jerry Brook, who chaired the group which wrote the report, speaking to reporter Andrew Kay

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