A NEW scheme has been launched to help people get to work for free during their first week in employment.

The 'Darlington New Worker Week' ticket enables people from across the Tees Valley to enjoy free bus or rail travel as they embark on their newest employment journey.

The initiative, which was developed by Let’s Go Tees Valley in partnership with Arriva North East and Northern, aims to help with the cost of travel in the first week and to encourage people to continue using the bus and the train once they have their first pay cheque.

Anna Weeks, regional director at Northern, said: “It’s fantastic to be partnering with Let’s Go Tees Valley and Arriva North East to give something back to our local community. Our stations and services are a vital part of many people’s lives and we’re really pleased to be able to help those people find a new career.”

The pilot scheme, which launched yesterday and runs until December 31, is open to people of any age.

Welcoming the scheme, Councillor Paul Howell, Darlington Borough Council cabinet member for leisure and local environment said: “This initiative is a tremendous opportunity for anyone living in the Tees Valley who is offered a new job in Darlington and helps with the all-important cost of getting to work in their first week.

"Let’s Go Tees Valley has partnered with Arriva North East and Northern to provide a simple way for those taking up a new job in Darlington to get this free ticket and then simply hop on board the bus or train –or both – to get to their new job.

"With the launch of the new ticket we aim to foster the ongoing habit of using public transport to get to work in Darlington as the cleaner, greener, healthier option for many people across the Tees Valley.”

Claiming a Darlington New Worker ticket is very simple and involves emailing details of a job offer, along with contact details to a Let’s Go Tees Valley Travel Advisor. You can find out full details about the free ticket offer at www.letsgoteesvalley.co.uk/newjob