Children aged 11 or under can travel for free on buses around the Tees Valley this summer.

The new offer, applicable when accompanied by an adult with a valid ticket or pass, is available all day, every day, throughout the school holidays until Sunday, September 4.

The discount comes after Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen and the five local authority leaders voted to enter into a new agreement to work with the region’s bus operators to improve local bus services and grow passenger numbers.

The Enhanced Partnership aims to deliver a range of improvements to local services and the Kids Go Free scheme is the first step towards that.

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The Northern Echo: Mayor Houchen said the new discount is a positive step for the region's transportMayor Houchen said the new discount is a positive step for the region's transport

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “The Kids Go Free offer is exactly the kind of initiative our partnership with the region’s bus operators aims to bring to the residents of Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool. The offer will help local parents and carers plan exciting and cost-effective days out with the kids over the summer holidays.

“This latest move will make our public transport network a real option and accessible for all at a time when other prices are rising. There’s lots to see and do across Teesside and we want to inspire our young people and make sure they know how great it is a place to live, showing them they don’t need to go to big cities for excitement, fun and entertainment.

“I hope this will be a chance for them to explore all corners of our region, make some memories and keep their hard-earned money in our area for the good of local businesses.”

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Councillor Jonathan Dulston, combined authority cabinet lead for transport and leader of Darlington Borough Council, said: “This is a fantastic example of how we are working in partnership with bus providers to offer a service across the Tees Valley that is accessible and affordable for everyone. There’s lots of free family fun this summer across our region and this offer will help families take full advantage of what’s going on without breaking the bank.

“In addition, travelling by bus helps to reduce congestion on our roads and helps to reduce our personal carbon footprint. The recent heatwave is a reminder to all of us that we need to take action now if we are to tackle climate change.”

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