Jobseekers to be given free bus travel in January thanks to new Bus for Jobs initiative

People who are looking for a job will be able to enjoy free bus travel in many parts of the country this month, thanks to a new scheme.

Several leading bus companies, including Arriva, Stagecoach, National Express, First, and Go-Ahead, as well as a number of local operators, are supporting the Bus for Jobs initiative.

Covering more than two-thirds of all routes in England, Scotland and Wales, it is available for jobseekers who have been looking for employment for between three and 12 months and hold a valid Jobcentre Plus Travel Discount Card.

Transport Minister Norman Baker said: "Good bus services play a huge role in boosting economic growth by helping people to access employment and training opportunities.

"I have been encouraging bus operators to look at the fare deals they can offer to young people looking for work, so I congratulate the operators that are doing so in January and look forward to seeing other offers in the future.

"This move will benefit the industry, as well as jobseekers, as young people are not only a key section of the market, they are the future of the local bus industry."

Campaign group Greener Journeys, which wants to to see more sustainable travel in the UK, welcomed the move and added that around 800,000 jobseekers will be able to take advantage of the Bus for Jobs scheme.

Claire Haigh, chief executive of Greener Journeys, said: "This scheme will help get people on the move and into work or training. Our research shows that bus travel makes a massive contribution to the UK and reliable, affordable and accessible bus routes can help to boost economic growth.

"In difficult economic times, this new scheme will provide a helpful start to the New Year, enabling job hunters to travel around more easily in search of employment, to job interviews with prospective employers and to training courses which will help them find work."

To take part in the scheme, jobseekers simply have to carry their discount card with them and show it to the driver at the start of every journey they make.

Copyright Press Association 2013