COUNCIL leaders gave the go-ahead for flat-rate bus fares to be introduced in Blackburn with Darwen.

School children can now expect to pay 50p for a bus journey, regardless of the length of trip, following the decision by Blackburn with Darwen Council executive committee.

Coun Andy Kay, regeneration, said: "Havoc is being caused on board buses as schoolchildren pay different prices and we want to encourage better behaviour. This scheme is not profit bearing. We want to create a system which is sustainable for several years."

Conservative councillor Paul Browne, who opposed the decision, said: "I am against this 100 per cent. We have done it solely for the operations companies. £1 a day for a parent with two children is £10 a week which is a lot of money for many families."

The final decision will be made at the council's scrutiny committee over the coming weeks.