Wednesday 30-03-2016 - 10:37
Canterbury College SU tell us about their campaign to make local bus services fairer and more affordable for students.
Here at Canterbury College over 30% of our 8,000 students use the Stagecoach buses to get into College. More than 70% travel more than 5 miles to get to college. All this adds up to a lot of time and money spent on the roads of East Kent and sometimes even more time stood waiting at bus stops in the rain.
The cost and reliability of public transport is probably the number one issue students raise when we talk to them about what affects their college experience outside the classroom. Over the years we have worked with the college, the local councils and the bus company to try and make things as easy as we can for students.
The college have helped loads of students on low incomes with free bus travel, the County Council subsidise a pass for yearly travel which students can get at the start of the year and Stagecoach sell the college discounted weekly passes for them to use for students in need.
Yet still there are many students who cannot afford the £400 up-front fee for the yearly pass or suffer from buses speeding past them full of school children making their way into the City for the local grammar schools.
With the loss of EMA many students find it a huge barrier to academic success if they have to spend time working to afford getting to college or are late because the service isn’t always up to scratch. There is now one route with wifi, but that’s just made everyone who doesn’t live in Folkestone really jealous!
We need to do more, and we will.
So we are back on the bus to improve the service for our students. We’ve asked students about flexible timetabling to see if this would mean cheaper and less crowded buses and we are now working with the local university SU to begin lobbying on a better and cheaper service for all the students in Canterbury.
So watch this space; we’re going somewhere, and not just on a summer holiday.
For more information about this campaign, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Have you been campaigning to help your students with their travel costs? Let us know: email@example.com