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Nottinghamshire County Council extend free Notts bus travel for Ukrainian refugees

Nottinghamshire County Council has agreed to further extend free bus passes for Ukrainian refugees until March 2025, after an increase in trips for work and education purposes.

Free bus travel was first given to Ukrainians in July 2022. It has since been extended three times and is due to expire at the end of July 2024.

The passes have enabled Ukrainians to travel freely across Nottinghamshire, Nottingham City, Derbyshire and Derby City for work, educational and leisure.

Nottinghamshire's bus services have been recognised as some of the best in the country.
Nottinghamshire's bus services have been recognised as some of the best in the country.

Data from the council’s Transport and Travel Services has shown a consistent figure of around 23,000 bus trips a month between February 2023 and June 2024 for those who use the passes, but that trips are likely to increase.

As of May 2024, there were 425 Ukrainians in Nottinghamshire living with 242 sponsors.

Many live in rural areas, where easy access to transport is vital for their employment or educational prospects.

The county council’s decision means that the concessionary bus passes will be extended until March 31, 2025.

A report by the council said: “During the period of their visa, many guests are required to relocate between host households or into other accommodation such as social housing.

“This results in longer travel distances between guest households and established employment and education opportunities,
alongside other key services such as healthcare.”

It will cost the council around £27,000 a month for all undertaken journeys, meaning a maximum of £220,000 will be spent on the extended scheme.

Funding to cover the cost of the extension has been proposed to come from the ‘Homes for Ukraine’ tariff funding the council has received from Westminster.

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