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Olympic Volunteers Face Huge Travel Costs
Grandparents volunteering at the Olympic games are deviated by the amount it is going to cost them to travel into London on the train.
Karen and Roger from Bedfordshire have offered to work for a total of 70 days between them as volunteers at the Olympic and Paralympic games.
They claim that a return ticket into London on a First Capital Connect train will cost them around £35, that is a total of £2,450.
They told Heart they would not be able to afford this so they have gone to their local MP for help
"We spoke to one personally last week and his view is that he wants to try and put a lot of pressure on First Capital Connect to do something for the volunteers because we're not the only two"
The couple are just two of the 70,000 people volunteering at the games.
Roger says that being a part of the Olympics is very important to him but if MP Alistair Bert can not persuade the rail company to give volunteers a concession he will have to reduce the number of days he's there to a minimum.
"I am prepared to fund the rail travel but to pay full fare at the times that we have to travel is prohibitive and will restrict the number of days I will be able to volunteer at the Olympics"
They have considered alternative ways of getting into the city.
Roger said one option would be to drive over to Cockfosters and jump on the tube but he says this could be very stressful and parking will be very difficult.
Lift sharing with other volunteers is another possibility but they will have to find other volunteers in the area that are working the same shifts.
A spokesperson for the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) told Heart:
“Olympic organisers decided to offer to pay for volunteers to have free travel within Greater London but no further than that. The cost of any free travel offered outside London would ultimately fall on taxpayers or other passengers.”
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