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|Mayor of London Boris Johnson will today unveil plans to make young people sign a 'courtesy pledge' to promise to be polite and considerate when using public transport. |
The Daily Mail reports that the three-point pledge states that they will give up their seats to the elderly, pregnant and disabled, refrain from using offensive or threatening language and be polite to other passengers and staff.
Any young people who refuse to sign, or who are caught behaving in an inconsiderate or offensive manor, will lose their entitlement to free travel.
The courtesy pledge will initially affect the 400,000 11-15 year-olds in London who qualify for free travel cards. Tory sources believe that the plan could later be rolled out across the country.
A Conservative insider told the Daily Mail: "The initiative chimes perfectly with the push to create a Big Society. It is about changing culture and expectations around behaviour to improve the atmosphere on buses and trains for everyone."
Speaking before today's launch, Boris Johnson explained the thinking behind the plan, which is a key part of his re-election bid.
He said: "When I was a boy, I was taught to stand up for those less able to. Youngsters enjoy the privilege of free travel, which is paid for by Londoners, but they have to understand that with that privilege comes responsibility. Anyone who abuses this privilege will have it taken away, and will have to earn that right back."
Teenagers who breach the new behaviour code will have to carry out unpaid community work in order to have their free travel passes reinstated.
Boris Johnson is also introducing a 'two strikes and you're out' policy to deal with repeat offenders. Anyone who commits a second serious breach of the code will lose their right to free travel permanently.
Sources say that the plan will cost taxpayers nothing as it would be incorporated into the existing application process for free travel passes.
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