Student Rider ticket will be scrapped from September

By Martin Neville

Thursday, July 22, 2010

 

THE £1.20 Student Rider ticket will be scrapped from September 1.

The decision was taken at a full meeting of the Isle of Wight Council last night (Wednesday) as part of a range of austerity measures.

Council leader, David Pugh, said Student Rider was not sustainable in the current economic climate but said council bosses were entering discussions with Southern Vectis to explore options for introducing variations to their concessions for young people, focusing on home-to-school travel.

The Liberals, along with the council’s only Labour member, Cllr Geoff Lumley, and a number of independent councillors, voted against the recommendations put forward by ruling Tory councillors.

Cllr Lumley described the cuts as "savage and draconian", which would impact on the most vulnerable.

He said: "What we see is not a budget about fairness, what we see is a budget about hurting those who cannot afford to take it."

Lib Dem Cllr Reg Barry, a former portfolio holder for resources in the IslandFirst coalition, accused the council of financial incompetence while independent councillor, Vanessa Churchman, accused the Tory administration of wasting money on the Ryde Gateway project that never happened and the Undercliff Drive enquiry.

Cllr Pugh said the authority had been placed in the difficult position due to 13 years of excessive spending by the Labour government.

Reporter: martinn@iwcpmail.co.uk

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