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'Special deals' offer for children on the buses.

Byline: GARETH LEWIS

TRAVEL bosses in the West Midlands have pledged "special deals"' during the school summer holidays - despite the possible axing of discounted fares for youngsters.

The West Midlands Passenger Transport Authority has decided the subsidy currently given to operators all year round to provide half-fares for children should be cut in August during school holidays and instead paid only from September to July.

It will now be up to bus operators to decide if they retain the peak- time half-fare travel without the subsidy.

Centro, which pays the subsidy, currently shells out about pounds 10m from the public purse. The move is hoped to save pounds 400,000. The money saved, which comes from a concessions budget of around pounds 60m, will go towards developing family and child deals in the holidays.

At present, youngsters get 50 per cent off the price of a ticket all year round.

But Cllr Richard Worrall, chairman of the PTA, says despite the loss of discounted travel they will work with operators to give August a boost by "promoting it as the holiday month with special deals for children and parents".

He said: "We have never had a concerted push in August for people and it is high time we did.

"Bus operators offer half fares for children off-peak anyway and this will continue.

"We see the policy change as providing the opportunity to really raise the profile of August as the month when all sorts of attractive and affordable holiday offers for families and children can be provided by Centro working with the public transport operators."

The policy change still has to be approved by a full meeting of the PTA.

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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Sep 5, 2002
Words:288
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