Focusing on a wide range of issues affecting pensioners & the disabled
Category Archives: Bus services
A GROUP of elderly people feel ‘victimised’ and ‘trapped’ after being forced to pay £1 a day for a formerly free bus.
Pensioners who rely on the number 22 Grant Palmer shopping service bus from into Bedford town are now forced to pay £1 each weekday morning, despite being able to use it for free just a week and a half ago.
This is because Bedford Borough Council is now charging the elderly and disabled with concessionary passes who use the bus before 9.30am , which came into force on February 1.
The scheme was introduced to save the council £100,000 a year in light of what portfolio holder for finance, Michael Headley described as ‘punishing government cuts’.
The council previously claimed single service buses would not be affected by the charges.
Read more at http://www.bedfordshire-news.co.uk/pensioners-feel-victimised-by-1-charge-for-their-only-bus-to-town/story-30127613-detail/story.html#5myR6bIrWiWRyzHY.99
The age at which Scots qualify for a free bus pass could be set to rise.
Transport Minister Humza Yousaf said the Scottish government would hold a consultation on changes to the national concession travel scheme.
He wants to extend it to Modern Apprentices and those on Job Grants and said people who already had passes would retain them.
But he said ministers had to look at the “long-term sustainability” of offering all those over 60 free travel.
The Scotland-wide free bus pass entitlement scheme was introduced in 2006.
The card allows passengers, aged over 60 or disabled, to travel free on local, registered or scheduled long-distance services.
The transport minister has said a public consultation on changes to the current system will be held.
However, he insisted that current holders of the passes would be unaffected.
Mr Yousaf told BBC Scotland: “If you’ve got a free bus pass you will continue to have that free bus pass and continue to be able to use that pass in the way that you currently are.
“What we have said is that we want to extend the national travel scheme to Modern Apprentices, to those on a Job Grant, so that some young people, that are in the most need, can also benefit.
“But clearly people are living longer, they are staying in work longer – which are all good things – but it does add a pressure. Read more
CHANGES to discount travel passes in Bedford borough are set to come into force next month.
The English National Concessionary Travel Scheme (ENCTS) allows disabled and pensioner pass holders to travel free of charge on bus journeys where the journeyis made between 9.30am and 11.00pm Monday to Friday or anytime on weekends or bank holidays.
This part of the scheme is not changing.
But Bedford Borough Council had previously subsidised pass holders’ travel in addition to the national scheme to allow them to use buses for free at any time on journeys within the borough. This initiative is being altered.
READ MORE:£2.7m budget cuts as Bedford council tax rises
ENCTS pass holders travelling before 9.30am on weekdays will now pay a contribution of £1 per journey toward the cost of their journey as of February 1, 2017.
Message from bus pass user today: “I have just been on the H37 bus from Blenheim centre towards Richmond and the driver told me my national bus pass was not valid, even when I showed him it was valid anywhere in England. It made me feel uncomfortable and embarrased. It is about time tFL instructed all their drivers of the situation.”
This is appalling – so many people have been embrarrassed in this way.
Isn’t it strange, we have never had a complaint from a Londoner having a problem using their pass outside London.
Labour have claimed older people are getting a “raw deal” from the Scottish Government’s draft budget as concessionary travel is in line for cuts of almost £10m.
The party’s transport spokesman Neil Bibby raised fears that fares for paying customers will rise and lifeline bus routes will be cut as the funds for subsidised and free travel for disabled and older people is reduced by £9.5m next year.
The Scottish Government’s budget document plans to cut concessionary travel cash from £207.8m in 2016/17 to £198.3m in 2017/18, but a Transport Scotland spokeswoman said the free bus pass scheme would continue “exactly as it does at present”.
The document states the government will “constrain payments under the concessionary travel scheme for older and disabled people as a result of a negotiated settlement with the bus sector and develop options in consultation with stakeholders to safeguard the scheme’s longer-term sustainability”. Read more
RESIDENTS in a North East Lincolnshire village say they have been left feeling isolated after a bus service into Grimsby was scrapped.
Hundreds of villagers in Tetney have signed a petition in protest over the decision, with many calling for a reduced service to compensate after the village was removed from the list of stops on Stagecoach’s number 51 service.
The Louth to Grimsby bus service, which originally stopped in Tetney each hour between 8.52am and 3.52pm from Monday to Saturday, was cancelled by Stagecoach because they claim it has been “undermined” by a subsidised bus service run by Franklin College for its students.
But residents in the village say the decision will leave many people, especially the elderly, feeling more isolated.
More news: A third of workers in North East Lincolnshire earn below the living wage
Trish Bulmer, 58, of Fern Mews, said: “It’s awful really. I hate to think that I can’t get out.
“I can ask my neighbour for a lift into town but it’s not the same as going under your own steam. It gave older people their independence.”
The number 51 service, which previously picked up passengers at the village’s Plough Inn in, stops at Grimsby hospital, meaning many villagers could use the service to attend vital hospital appointments.
RESTRICTING times when bus pass holders can travel for free is the latest money-saving move from council chiefs.
Residents are asked to give their views on proposed alterations to the concessionary bus pass scheme in Dorset in a six-week consultation ahead of possible changes coming into force next April.
Dorset County Council subsidises a scheme which allows bus pass holders free concessionary travel before 9.30am on services where the next bus is not until after 10.30am.
However in a move to save money and free up buses it is proposed to withdraw free travel for concessionary bus pass holders before 9.30am on weekdays.
This applies to almost 50 bus services, mainly in rural communities.
It does not affect the partially sighted and blind, who would still be able to travel free any time. The companion scheme for people with disabilities would still continue, and concessionary holders would still be able to travel anytime of the day weekends and public holidays.
It may make compelling “slow television”, but slow travel this is not. As the bus whizzes along the A684, I’m willing the driver to slow down so I can better enjoy the view. The single-decker’s spotless picture windows and elevated seats deliver a fast-forwarding pano-shot of Wensleydale, its emerald curves broken up by solitary barns and drystone walls that snake up towards tree-softened valley slopes.
I’m taking a ride on the Wensleydale Flyer, sister service to the Northern Dalesman, whose meanderings through Swaledale and Ribblesdale, recorded for the recent fly-on-the-dashboard BBC4 documentary All Aboard! The Country Bus, captured the hearts (and perhaps lowered the blood pressure) of nearly a million viewers. One of some 14 interlinking routes that make up the DalesBus network and open up the Yorkshire Dales to car-free travellers, the Flyer begins its weekly Sunday service at Hawes, the pretty, cobbled home of Wensleydale cheese, and travels 40 miles along the valley to Northallerton, North Yorkshire’s county town.
The numbers of pensioners contacting us to relate their embarrassment and difficulty when their valid bus pass is refused by a London Bus driver has been going on for 3 years, and is on the increase. We quote here a couple of recent examples,
Pat September 23, 2016 at 11:13 am
We have always on trips to London been asked to swipe our cards on buses and always been waved through but on a recent visit to London on a Wed evening pre 2100 my bus pass gave message “Invalid for this trip” whereas my partner’s said “Show to the driver”. The driver waved my partner through but started to tell me mine was invalid. I told him that it was valid and ran until 2019 so he didn’t press me for payment but it does seem that London bus drivers need to be educated in how to treat bus passes especially if readers are not able to recognise them which it seems they are not.
Nora Johnson August 29, 2016 at 6:44 pm My Senior Bus Pass with ‘Red Rose’ issued in Hertfordshire was refused today, 29 August, in London on a No 170 bus running from Royal Hospital Road to Victoria Station. The card showed ‘invalid’ on the screen reader although it is in date until 31 December 2017. The driver insisted that I paid the full fare. Any comments would be appreciated.
Bus drivers are probably not happy either – it is high time TFL resolved the problems with the card readers on buses.
PS: we have had no complaints of this kind about Londoners not having their cards accepted on bus services outside London. so get your act together London.
Scottish Labour is to launch a new campaign to re-regulate the bus industry and improve “declining” services over the next parliament. The party accused the SNP of neglecting public transport and putting “profits before passengers” during nearly a decade in government.
Labour highlighted Transport Scotland statistics showing the number of bus journeys in Scotland fell 15% between 2007/08 and 2014/15, from 488 million to 414 million.
The same statistics show vehicle kilometres covered by Scotland’s local commercial and subsidised bus services fell by 66 million over the same period, from 397 million to 331 million. The Bus Service Operators Grant has been cut by £13 million, or 20%, over the past five years while bus fares have climbed by 18% at current prices. Labour said the SNP had supported regulating the bus industry before entering government in 2007 but had since taken no action.
DISABLED Islanders who cannot drive are to be offered a concessionary bus pass under a pilot scheme that is due to be launched early next year.
After the States voted unanimously in February to provide the passes to people with long-term disabilities, Infrastructure Minister Eddie Noel yesterday announced his department was due to test the scheme.
Funding of £600,000 for the initiative is due to come from the Car Park Trading Fund, subject to approval of the Medium Term Financial Plan 2 – the next phase of the States’ spending strategy.
The pilot scheme is due to run from early next year until the end of 2019, with further details due to be released once funding has been finalised later this year and under the initiative Islanders will pay £15 for the card, which will entitle them to free bus travel.
Read more at http://jerseyeveningpost.com/news/2016/08/17/cheap-bus-pass-scheme-for-disabled/#4z4xKqWSeTA56V2C.99