By Rob George Thursday 03 January 2013 Updated: 04/01 09:00
REDDITCH jobseekers have been handed free bus travel for the whole of January in a bid to help their efforts to get back to work.
A total of 605 borough residents who have the Jobcentre Plus Travel Discount Card will be able to travel for free on almost every local bus service operated by First, Arriva, Stagecoach, Go-Ahead and National Express.
The helping hand is part of the Bus for Jobs Scheme for the start of 2013 which sees the five bus operators team-up with Worcestershire County Council to help the 3,300 residents across the county claiming Jobseekers Allowance find work.
Council chiefs hope the scheme will allow people to travel around more easily in search of employment, to job interviews with prospective employers and to training courses.
The card must be produced when the journey is made and anyone unable to show their card at the time of travel will not be able to make the journey without payment of the appropriate fare.
All subsidised bus services operated on behalf of the county council have also been instructed to accept the Jobcentre Plus Travel Discount Card.
Other commercial operators, Whittles and Johnson's, have also agreed to accept the cards meaning almost 90 per cent of the bus services in the county will offer free bus travel.
Coun John Smith, responsible for highways and transport on the county council, said: "This scheme will provide people wanting to seek work but who face transport issues a considerable boost.
"It also demonstrates the council's commitment to help find ways to supports local businesses and ensure the county is open for business.
"We are delighted by the support we have received from the other bus service operators and it is to their credit to come on aboard with the five national operators," he added.
Anyone interested in the scheme should contact their local Jobcentre Plus Office for information on how to get a Travel Discount card.
Redditch bus routes included in the scheme: 3, 26, 50, 51, 55, 55A, 55S, 56A, 56S, 57, 58, 60, 61, 63, 64, 142, 143, 145, 146, 158, 182, 183, 247, 248, 350, 354, X3
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