Youngsters can win back confiscated Oyster cards by volunteering

Charities and Mayor of London Boris Johnson back scheme

Charities BTCV, the London Wildlife Trust and v have signed up to a scheme that allows young people in London who have lost their free travel passes because of bad behaviour to earn them back by volunteering for environmental conservation work.

Under the Earn Your Travel Back project, people aged between 11 and 16 will each have to complete a day of volunteering in order to be allowed to use their Oyster Zip cards again.  

Transport for London has withdrawn free travel passes from 3,620 youngsters for breaches of the behaviour code since the introduction in June 2008 of the Oyster Zip scheme, which offers free tube and bus travel for students aged 18 or under.

Rachel Oliver, head of programmes at youth volunteering charity v, said: "Our research shows that young people who have volunteered in the past are more likely to do so in the future, and that could be a really positive outcome. We see the scheme as a positive opportunity for young people to gain valuable skills and make meaningful contributions to the community."

In a statement, Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: "Young people who have caused problems on our buses and had their free travel taken away should be given the opportunity to earn it back. Rolling up their sleeves for a day on a conservation project could be an incredible experience for them."

He said the scheme would not be available to people who had committed serious or criminal offences.

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