After several years of sustained pressure from the Liberal Democrat opposition, Kent County Council has finally agreed to accept monthly payments for the Young Persons Travel Pass (YPTP) in the coming year. This will come a massive relief for parents faced with an inflation-busting £60 increase in the cost of the pass to £350 next year.
Under the proposed new arrangements, parents will be able to pay the total £350 cost in 8 monthly instalments payable from August 2019. KCC says there will be a small administration fee for those paying by instalments.
Opposition councillors first proposed payment by instalments some 5 years ago. Although the Conservative Administration acknowledged this need, the costs of the passes have continued to rise each year without any scheme for monthly payments being introduced up to now.
Lib Dem County Councillor, Dan Daley, took up the issue with the Conservative Cabinet Member once again last October. Dan has welcomed the new announcement: "The new £350 charge will be a heavy burden for many families, particularly for those with two or more secondary school age children. The new monthly payment scheme will make budgeting a little bit easier when finances are tight."
The Liberal Democrats have also welcomed KCC's decision to scrap plans to impose a £400 charge for travel passes for young persons over the age of 16 with special education needs or disabilities (SEND).