Transport is a major factor for 16-19 year olds when they make decisions about further education. A study commissioned by the ALG has shown that transport is the second most important consideration, after the course, for young people entering further education.
'Many students also find transport prohibitively expensive, especially those who are unaware of or can't take advantage of the student travel concessions.
'The good news is that the 16-17 photocards will give holders access to child rate season tickets and will become valid on London mainline trains from next year and the government's educational maintenance allowances will also give extra financial support to many students.'
Transport problems are also affecting levels of attendance and punctuality with 80% of students surveyed reporting that transport difficulties had made them late for lessons in the last year.
Student travel concessions proved popular with those who used them but the research showed that not all students were aware of the concessions available to them.
The research also found a north-south divide, with students in south London having the most limited and expensive choice of transport.
The research recommends a number of measures that need to be taken to ensure that transport does not impair educational achievement in London:
* Improve reliability of transport services.
* Narrow the north-south transport divide by improving the range of transport in south London.
* Ensure that all students are aware of and can take advantage of student travel concessions and relevant subsidies;
* Extend existing travel concessions to include mainline train transport in London (Transport for London plan to do this in 2004).
* Improved financial support for young people from poorer backgrounds (educational maintenance allowances will be introduced by the government in 2004).
* Closer working between organisations responsible for education and transport to ensure that no student is prevented from accessing or staying in further education for transport related reasons.
* A summary of the report '16-19+ Student Transport in London' by is available here.
* The report is based on a survey of more than 4000 16-19 year olds in full and part-time education and more than 150 prospective further education students.
* The following travel concessions are available to London students:
- 16-17 photocards
Gives 30% off weekly, monthly and longer period travel passes (for tube and bus travel) for all 16-17 year olds.
- Student photocard
Offers 30% discount on weekly, monthly and longer period travel passes (on tube and bus travel) for full and part-time students.
- Young Persons Railcard
Gives 16-25 year olds one-third off most off peak mainline train travel.
- Connexions Card travel and transport discounts
At the moment this only offer concessions of National Express coaches. From January 2004, this card will be accepted instead of a 16-17 photocard by tubes and buses.
- Disabled Persons Freedom Pass
Gives people with disabilities free travel on tubes, buses, trams, Docklands Light Railway trains in London and from 9.30am on national rail services.
Gives people with mobility impairments subsidised travel in licensed black cabs.
* The Association of London Government is committed to fighting for more resources for London and getting the best possible deal for London's 33 councils. Part think-tank, part lobbying organ isation and part service provider, the ALG formulates policies, organises campaigns and runs a range of services all designed to make life better for Londoners.