Tom Blenkinsop, Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland MP, has today (14th January 2014) warned of a mobility crisis for young people on Teesside as research reveals a decline in driving licence applications combined with cuts to and fare hikes on public transport.
In a Parliamentary Question submitted by Tom he found that, since the Banking Crisis in 2008, the amount of licences issued in Great Britain to those aged under 22 has fallen from 684,908 to 639,797 in 2013.
“This new information has raised several issues that I believe could have a big impact on young people – particularly in the Teesside area. This decline in licences being issued to under 22 year olds is very significant and is a continuous one, until 2008 the figure had tended to fluctuate.
“So that raises several questions but mainly, what is the reason behind the trend? My guess would be it is more to do with finances than suddenly young people aren’t interested in cars. My concern is that young people are being priced out of securing their own mobility. Fuel prices and insurance combined with low-paid part time work makes it harder for young people to get about the area – particularly to places of education.
“In our area the squeeze is compounded by a bus company that effectively runs a monopoly in the area and is able to charge high prices for limited and, very recently, decreasing services.
“Transport is a big issue in our area so I will continue to monitor these figures as well as put any pressure I can on Arriva to offer a fair deal for local passengers.”