Support for jobseekers
To improve travel options for jobseekers, we will be exploring a Mobility Credits system that will be linked to the Mobility as a Service (MaaS) online application that will enable the user to:
- collect and store mobility credits for important journeys, such as to job interviews;
- easily find information about all types of transport and the options available for your journey;
- book and pay for journeys from start to end, regardless of the different types of transport involved (this would include the ability to use mobility credits to pay for journeys);
- find costs and options using a simple fares system (replacing the current complex fares systems and getting rid of conflicting information and also the confusing options that can make booking journeys time-consuming and difficult for some travellers.
Mobility credits will also provide the opportunity to support sustainable travel choices (such as public or shared transport) and your freedom to get to where you need to go. For instance, supporting jobseekers with mobility credit allowances would open up opportunities to attend job interviews that they would otherwise find too expensive to travel to. These measures could potentially be linked with job centres and university programmes to identify individuals on low incomes, and support their travel needs.
Making travel options simpler
We aim to simplifying ticketing and fares to make public transport more attractive to potential passengers. The National Bus Strategy set out ambitious aims that we share, for seamless, integrated ticketing between different modes of transport and their operators, and to provide more fares initiatives, for example to support jobseekers.
Travel training sessions
We will explore the potential for developing a programme of travel training sessions for jobseekers and others who are not currently employed, on a low income and do not tend to use public or shared transport. Our aim is to improve your travel options by giving you a better understanding of the transport services available and by meeting any needs you may have to remove barriers that may be preventing you from broadening your travel horizons.
We will be encouraging employers to consider reducing travel carbon emissions when hiring their staff. To achieve zero emissions, we aim to dramatically reduce kilometres per person, this includes work-related journeys. We will be recommending that businesses consider the following when recruiting:
- electric car clubs
- electric car pools
- increased, better and safer cycling facilities
- reducing onsite parking or charging for spaces
- promoting public transport options
- where possible, reduce the length of staff journeys by either:
- hiring staff with shorter journeys to work, ideally no more than a twenty-minute walk or cycle ride (see 'Liveable Neighbourhoods') or
- using local digital hubs or remote working.
Jobseekers will be encouraged to consider travel carbon emissions when applying for roles and whether remote working is an option or working at a local digital hub.
Support for people on a low income
The Local Transport Plan 4 aims to deliver the Community Vision for 2030 by providing well-connected communities that encourage inclusive travel options and ensure no-one is left behind. There are a number of initiatives that will help you if you are on a low income:
- public transport and on demand transport discounts including mobility credits
- car clubs
- parking charges and eco levy discounts or exemptions
- electric vehicle grants.
Since COVID-19, more people have been opting for the healthiest and greenest ways of getting around: walking and cycling, particularly for shorter journeys. After a bike has been purchased, it becomes low cost, and walking is, of course, no cost, so we all need to be thinking about changing our travel behaviour and walk or cycle wherever possible to help the environment. If you don't think you can afford a bike, take a look at the Bikes for All advice on funding. As part of our Local Transport Plan, we will be improving walking and cycling facilities in town centres and in the wider community in the Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans that we are currently developing with partners for each borough and district in Surrey.
Public transport and on demand transport discounts
We aim to improve the affordability of public transport for those on low incomes.
Car clubs can considerably reduce travel costs, as well as removing the financial burden of vehicle maintenance and upgrades. Car owners pay much of their car ownership costs up front through purchase, insurance, servicing and fuelling, making each additional journey seem low cost but the overall cost, including the amount paid on an annual basis, is often difficult to afford for those on a low income and an unnecessary cost for those using cars relatively little each year.
If you are on a low income, you may own an old, high polluting vehicle that may eventually become too expensive to drive as measures to reduce transport carbon emissions are introduced, but you may find that you cannot afford to replace it with a low emission electric vehicle (EV). One solution for you may be EV car clubs as they will provide you with access to EVs when you want to travel without having to buy one. You would pay on a per journey basis, as you would for public transport journeys, and so you can make a travel choice by comparing like-for-like journey costs.
Expansion of the car club network will build on the existing car clubs in seven Surrey towns and will help to introduce EVs more rapidly (see Promoting Zero Emissions Vehicles). This is important for equal travel opportunities for Surrey's residents, as it provides a route for lower income households to access cars that will meet the low emissions standards, required for lower parking charges and exemption from any eco levies that may be introduced. This is discussed further under Demand Management for Cars.
Parking charges and eco levies
We may introduce increased residential parking charges for spaces, particularly second spaces. However, we will try to make sure that this does not impact unfairly on lower income households, because it is likely to focus on housing without off street parking. When we introduce this measure, it would be at a time when the availability of car club vehicles is widespread, to avoid disadvantaging residents in these areas.
We are also considering the introduction of a local or national eco levy (or pay-as-you-drive charge), but this would be carefully managed to ensure that they don't limit travel opportunities or disproportionately affect certain groups, such as low income households, Blue Badge holders or others with limited mobility.
Electric vehicle (EV) grants
National grants for electric vehicles (GOV.UK) are already available but as we move closer to 2030, when petrol and diesel vehicles will no longer be sold, we anticipate more financial assistance for those who wish to switch to greener vehicle options. However, our aim will be to increase EV hire options, the availability of car clubs as well as increase of on-demand and public transport options to help people on low incomes, including families, avoid the expense of owning a car altogether.
Timetable for change
We will add schemes to our timetable below as they are agreed and implemented.
What we are doing now
- Car clubs - we already have car clubs in Surrey with more planned in the near future.
- Buses - see our information about tickets, passes and travel discounts
- Electric vehicles
2022 to 2050
We will provide regular updates on the changes we will be making and where they are happening.
Related information and links
- National Rail Enquiries - Jobcentre Plus Travel Discount Card
- Jobcentre Plus Travel Discount - Transport for London (tfl.gov.uk)
- Support to help with the cost of transport - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Hospital transport in Surrey
- Coventry City Council have already adopted a Mobility Credits scheme. Watch their Mobility Credits YouTube video to find out how it works in Coventry, as an example of the scheme we would like to introduce in Surrey.