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Hello, my name is Becca, and I want to share my story with you 

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I started College in September of last year and everything was fine - and I was issued a college bus pass.

Then one day I received an e-mail saying that my bus pass would be cancelled with no warning because I lived within walking distance, which is what they class as 3 miles.

So that day I went straight to student services and asked – "what is this about?" Because as far as I was aware, I lived over the three-mile mark and I told them that I was unable to walk it because I thought it was unsafe and I felt afraid quite frankly, and they agreed with me and returned my bus pass.

About a week later, I got on the bus and my college pass declined and it made me feel quite embarrassed because I was not in a situation where I could pay for the bus.

Then I felt like I put the bus driver in an awkward situation where he had to choose whether to let me on for free in front of a bus full of people who had to pay, or to leave me at the stop.

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I left the bus and walked. Here are some pictures of the route that I took. If you're not familiar with this route, this is going through the Moss Valley and there are no pavements or street lights, so these are all narrow roads which follow the national speed limit, so it's pretty unsafe for someone like me to be walking there because I am a 16 year old girl and I would be walking this on my own – especially in the dark or in the morning, and in darker night times.

So I just thought it was really unsafe and dangerous for me to be walking this route.

I am lucky enough to have friends who will lend me a bus pass and will give me but I know that for some people that's not the case and they have no way of doing that. and I'm speaking to a few of my classmates and this one girl in particularly shared her story with me.

 

She said that she had to move in with a friend who was closer to college because she couldn't afford the bus, but she felt quite awkward, like she was taking advantage of his family – and she has moved back home and since then, her attendance  has just been really going down, and the situation has had a really bad effect on her mental health and academic progression.

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"When I heard about Becca’s story I immediately felt concerned for her safety. I've lent her my bus pass a few times, but I can't afford to do that all the time as I need to do it for myself. But I just feel really guilty that I can't do anything more and feel like it's a really bad situation that they've put her in".

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"I've also lent Becca my bus pass,  and given her a lift home after college some days – but our timetable doesn't correlate every day of the week, so Rebecca's often left in town for up to three hours on her own, with no way to get home until later on".

So what do we want? We want Coleg Cambria to prioritise safety over distance when they issue bus passes. For young people living in rural villages walking routes can be treacherous, especially during the winter period.

Storytelling is important - so share this story and let us know if anyone relates. We would love to hear about it and add it to campaign.

 

TO FIND OUT MORE CONTACT 

Ruth Marshall 

Youth & Community Organiser 

TCC 

37 Kingsmills Road 

Wrexham 

LL13 8NH 

yaco@tcc-wales.org.uk 

01978 262588 

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