Latest news on bus passes

In my local newspaper I have seen an article about the proposed cutbacks in travel concessions for the West Midlands. It means they want to get rid of free train &bus travel both for pensioners and disabled. Also stop the 50% reduction on child travel, meaning you will have to pay two thirds fare for kiddies instead of the present half fare. Of course if these are West Midlands proposals it follows that other bus companies will soon follow suit,like fuel companies do.

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  • Katie, this is worrying news. As you say, one starts it off,and the rest follow. However, I thought the disabled and pensioners travel concession passes were funded from central government, and wonder why a bus company is putting forward such proposals? Unless it's to do with local authority austerity measures, perhaps? Pensioners and disabled are easy targets for any government! No matter who has put forward this proposal, it's a downright disgrace!

  • It is a National scheme allowing for free off-peak bus travel for pensioners anywhere in England. There are similar schemes in Scotland and Wales.

  • The National scheme is only for Bus passes. The local transport authority have allowed add ons such as free train services etc. My reading of it is that they are not saying they are getting rid of bus passes.

  • suttoncoldfieldobserver.co....

    After reading this article, I think you are right. The implications are on withdrawing free tram and train concessions, and not an outright withdrawal of bus passes. Phew! I must use google more often :) x

  • I know it's a bit confusing, the headline says cuts on bus and rail, when reading deeper it does not say passes but free travel to be cut and people associate free travel with bus passes,my mistake in wording sorry

  • But they are talking about cutting down or totally scrapping the Ring n Ride service, which is such a lifeline to many pensioners and disabled. x

  • We pay a nominal fee for this service, but as you say the articles suggest this service may totally be axed, which will isolate many disabled and elderly. We have run a petition to try and save bus passes but looks like we may have to do one for ring&ride

  • Don't get free train travel in the south, my buss pass ok till 2016 now but I suspect as the rules change from county to country the use of free travel by bus pass will be restricted to the county bus pass issued.

    School children get free travel pass in the south.

    Easy to get confused with some of the inflammatory news headlines, designed to get the blood curdling. But not if you have rose tint lenses on :)

    pair for you Katie. 2.bp.blogspot.com/_DcuF-brY...

    Hope you got on ok at the docs today, I've not caught up with that yet.

    Best BC

  • appointment 8.30 am Wednesday save you looking it up

  • nice glasses but I'm not into roses or rose tinted glasses, live in the real world very down to earth and boring that's me

  • This is a lesson to us all to find out all of the facts before we yell blue murder. The money for bus passes is provided by central government and councils have a legal obligation to provide them. The Metro, the trains and the Ring and Ride are add ons paid for by local councils. Many other councils have never funded these add ons. West Midlands councils have decided their rate payers can no longer afford them.

    Bobby

  • Yes Bobby that's it in a nut shell, I am a rate payer but the cuts will still happen maybe even more if the targets are not met by the original proposals

  • I can only answer for the Scottish bus pass.

    We also have train / bus concession`s and as far as I am aware no changes to the entitlement is on the cards.

    However, a few years ago we were not allowed to use the bus pass during peak times.

    On the new Edinburgh trams Bus concession passes will not be permitted but, I can live with that.

    Tom.

  • Hi Stitch,

    Nice to here from you anytime about anything.

    I don't know anything about Louise Bourgeois, Who Are they?, what is the story on them??

    On another note, Alex Salmond and his crew of rebels have released the Scottish "why yes to an independence vote white paper", or I should say PAPERBACK with 695 pages ( Oh boy, big sigh ),

    A lot of people are now saying that it just does not stack up on a financial basis as they do not go into detail on how to fund these fantastic promises.

    I think I will just get the shortened version online, that is the version that spells out how a yes vote will benefit the people of Scotland Pro`s and Con`s.

    I still believe it is wrong to break up the union but do agree with Scotland having more say in its policies.

    What are your thoughts on this issue?

    Sorry I did not respond before now.

    We are moving business premises and it is taking a lot longer than anticipated.

    So much for taking things easy.

    Ah well, that's life!.........Another big sigh....................

    Tom.

  • That may be true Stitch.

    I done a lot of work down south and in MOST circumstances was shown kindness and respect.

    I have no problems with English people at all, in fact, I made many good friends.

    I like other Scott's just want more of a say over our future and that of our families.

    Still not sure about SNP though.

    Started reading the web site, JUST MORE CONFUSING with still no real answers.

    Tom.

  • Sorry Stitch Just noticed you told me he was an artist.

    Still don`t know of him.

    Tom.

  • Interesting how the system varies even on national passes from area to area? Disabled passes are only off peak in the West Midlands. You can buy a top up pass but it's quiet expensive unless you work full time. Pensioners can do the same outside of West Midlands not far from us you can use the pass from 9am instead of 9.30 am.Some what unfair don't you think as it is a government thing?

  • I think its a local government thing, each council decides the rules I believe.

  • Believe you are correct each council decides

  • Hi katieoxo60

    You say West Mids, does that include Wolverhampton?

  • Yes sad to say Wolverhampton is part of the West Midlands, we will just have to wait and see what cuts they eventually decide

  • Hi stitch I am not from Wolverhampton, a train journey away in Coventry

  • Yes there are some lovely canals in the area with boat trips too, and our cathederal is world famous as the peace cathedral. Theres a lovely carol service just befor Christmas the acoustics are marvellous

  • When I reached 60, I did hope to get a bus pass but to no avail. It seems that on the South Coast anyway, I cannot get my bus pass until I am around 62 which is a shame. By then they will probably have done away with them altogether knowing my luck. xxx

  • HI Sassy59, the new ages for receiving bus passes run in line with the new ages for pension receipt, so eventually it will no doubt be 66 if bus passes are still around as you say. In a few years time we may be buying our own travel passes if we are still able to travel around. Once again it's a case of wait and see. Hope it does not change then one day you may have your pass.xx

  • It`s just typical of this government isn`t it.

    Tom.

  • Yes very much so

  • Central Government issues an amount of money to each Local Authority who in turn pay the invoice from the local bus companies, as can be expected their invoices exceed the amount of money that Central Government gives so the Local Authority has to find the excess from their own budget. This is something that has irked me for some time, when those of us with passes use a bus then our Local Authority is charged for the whole of the route not just the portion that we use. I have queried this in the past and been told that the additional amount of money is used by the bus companies to ensure that little used routes are kept in operation. What it all comes down to is that our Council tax is used to keep this scheme in operation. Perhaps it would be better if it were standardised i.e. just buses and with a start time of 09:30 then those Local Authorities that could afford to add on trains etc. could pass their excess funds back and we could all benefit.

  • the whole thing is difficult and I somehow managed to get involved in it towards the end of my working life and I was so pleased to leave it behind. The system may well have changed in the last 4 years but back then the LA received £1m for concessionary bus fares and from that we had to pay the bus companies. The bus companies invoices came to more than that amount so a meeting was called. We discovered that there was no record kept of how many concessionary fares had been issued, that even if a ticket was issued it was for the whole route (A to Z, not A to C where the passenger had alighted), and on top of that their argument was that the money was to prop up routes where there is very little usage. Their argument about it being after rush hour is that we would take up valuable space for true fare paying customers. I have ventured out during fare paying time and there are very few full fare payers on these buses, mainly college students, the buses are much fuller after 9:30 (or in some cases after 09:00) so, dependant upon the size of the area in which you live maybe the £1m was an optimistic amount of money for the bus fares. Sorry to have rambled on, think I would have thrown the whole lot up in the air and left anyway if I had continued struggling with the concept of this.

  • You are right the people who are benefitting financially are the bus companies but they argue it is necessary to sustain all types of routes especially those where you get one passenger, or in some cases, none all day. Things differ area by area, we have recently come back from a couple of days in Wokingham where the passes start at 09:00, when we got on at exactly that time there were already a couple of "twerlies" (am I too early) on and at the next stop they presented the driver with their passes which I found amusing. On the other hand there was a rather large newspaper article about someone who was poorly and had been refused a bus journey because he was too early and did not have enough money, suppose you could argue that he should have thought about it and ensured he had the money but also if an Inspector got on the bus and found that the driver had contravened the rules that driver could have lost their job. Off to the hospital now, will continue this later. Take care

  • I seem to remember that if you were disabled then the Local Authority gave tokens or vouchers which you could use then the bus passes were brought in and eventually they became a promise during one of the elections that you could use them anywhere in the country. Richer areas can give more concessions i.e. 09:00 and train travel, when we lived in Leicestershire we could use the trains but only within Leicestershire, that meant a 2.5 hour bus journey with 3 changes, and we could only go for 2 stations before we were out of the county lol. Think nationalisation or not has a lot to answer. Must admit that here in Somerset we are quite lucky with a bus every hour to either Yeovil or Taunton or if we fancied a day out then we could drive to Bridport and park the car for the day and catch the coastal bus to either Poole or Exeter, there have been days on this coastal bus where the driver has not taken a penny in fares.

  • we moved here 3 years ago, previously lived in Leicestershire which in itself is a lovely county but the village we lived in was in a slight valley and our bungalow as surrounded by houses which relied on coal for heating so the winter air quality was very bad, the Council did an air quality test and it came out as being below standard. We gave them a year to decide what to do about the quality and nothing had been decided so we upped and left. Couldn't take the risk of him having any more hospital admissions (oh it is not me with the bad lungs) and I am grateful that he has been slightly better since being here. Enjoyed the discussion about the buses now what shall we have tomorrow?

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