Page last updated at 01:53 GMT, Wednesday, 15 July 2009 02:53 UK

Travel punished can 'earn' cards

An Oyster Zip card
More than 3,600 zip cards have been taken away in the past year

Young people who lose their right to free travel in London because of bad behaviour could "earn" it back.

From September youths stripped of their Oyster Zip cards will be given the option to get them back by volunteering on a conservation project for a day.

Mayor Boris Johnson said the scheme will give children a chance to "earn it back in exchange for putting something positive back into their community".

The scheme is not open for those who commit serious offences.

'Incredible experience'

About 3,620 zip cards were taken away from youngsters for breaching the code of behaviour since the cards were introduced in June 2008.

Mr 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 in exchange for putting something positive back into their community".

He added: "Rolling up their sleeves for a day on a conservation project could be an incredible experience for them."

London Wildlife Trust, the National Young Volunteers Service or BTCV (formerly the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers) have signed up to the scheme.

Free travel privileges can be withdrawn for a minimum period of six months for consistent bad behaviour like bullying or using threatening language.

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