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.
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.
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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.
Thousands of poorer pensioners will be hit by a new “bedroom tax”, despite the Government’s promises to protect the elderly from the hugely controversial benefit cuts.
They are poised to lose at least £300 a year because their homes will be deemed to be “underoccupied”, slashing their incomes or forcing them to move – away from family and friends, or to flats that are unsuitable for older people.
In some cases, the financial pain will be greater – one housing association has identified pensioners in part of the North who are set to lose a staggering £1,700 a year. Read more
The NHS should be given a £5bn ($6.4bn) “Brexit bonus” as campaigns on both sides of the EU referendum promised the health service would be better off, Lord Lansley has demanded.
The former Health Secretary made the comments as he delivered the annual NHS Providers lecture last night (22 September).
“For political reasons, both campaigns told the public that whatever was going to happen in the future there would be more money for the NHS. So the public have a right to expect it,” he said.
“They have a right to expect a Brexit bonus for the NHS. Given that we won’t leave until 2019 at the earliest. It can’t be before 2019 fiscal year
“But it should be then and from then onwards and it frankly should be no less than £5bn a year.”
The official Brexit campaign, Vote Leave, was criticised during and after the EU referendum for the suggestion that £350m a week could be spent on the NHS, a slogan printed onto their battle bus. Read more
Our comment: The NHS seems to be creaking, concerns abound. So why aren’t politicians recognising we want a decent health service ?
Whose fault is it, I wonder, that Mr Salmond is now confirmed as having attempted the biggest deception in modern political history by arguing a case for Scottish independence that was based on entirely bogus claims about future North Sea oil revenues? Fortunately, he failed.
The UK government will receive less than £1 billion a year in oil revenues for at least the next five years. This compares to the Scottish Government’s insistence that the revenues in 2016-17 alone would amount to between £6.8 – 7.9 billion. The Office for Budget Responsibility now estimates £600 million for that year – surely a record-breaking miscalculation by the Scottish Government of over 90 per cent.
Nicola Sturgeon blithely states that “everyone’s projections about oil were wrong” as if that magically exonerates the deception to which she was a leading subscriber. But, anyway, her memory is highly selective. The scale of the fall may be even greater than anticipated but it was the downward trend which the Nationalists stood alone in denying and were prepared to denigrate anyone who dared contradict them. Read more
A DIVING champion and Olympic contender has received a boost from his local bus company.
British Men’s 1m Springboard Champion, Oliver Dingley, from Canvey Island, has been awarded an annual travel pass from First Essex to give him unlimited free bus travel around the county.
Oliver, who narrowly missed out on selection for the London 2012 Olympics due to injury, travels regularly across Essex for training, coaching, competing and visiting schools and diving centres.
The 20-year-old said: “I am very grateful for the support from First Essex. The travel pass will not only help me get around, but will also help save money that will go towards developing my future in diving. I hope to help promote the positive community activities that First Essex are involved in.”
Nigel Barrett from First Essex said; “We are always supportive of local talents such as Oliver. He is an extremely bright prospect, not just for Essex, but for the whole country. We’re extremely excited to be given the opportunity to support Oliver in his training for competing on the world stage.” Read more