Older people paying for free travel
- Published on Wednesday, 17 August 2011 15:05
- Posted by Scott Buckler
The culture of cuts has seeped into subsidised travel, with one firm now suggesting older people 'make voluntary payments' for their 'free' service
East Yorkshire Motor Services, which runs buses in Hull and the surrounding area, said one of its routes was not making enough profit and would have been scrapped, until it began asking older people entitled to free travel to start paying for their seat on the bus.
But the Department for Transport claimed that travel firms who threaten to scrap services if concessionary-travel passengers did not 'make a contribution' were guilty of coercion.
The Hull firm's planning manager Tony Renderson said: 'We received a number of letters from people who would be inconvenienced (if the route was axed) and a local councillor got involved.
'As a result we suggested concessionary bus holders left their passes in their pocket and paid the appropriate fare of around £1.40. As a result we were prepared to reinstate the service.'
The Confederation of Passenger Transport insisted the 'challenge' faced by the bus industry is the greatest seen for a long time.
A spokesman said: 'It is clear that in some areas budget cuts have undermined the viability of some routes.'
Source : AGE UK