MANY Echo readers have reacted angrily to the suggestion pensioners are freeloading or to blame for bus routes being axed.

Elizabeth King, an 81-year-old retired civil servant from Winchester, said she and her friends, who meet up for weekly line dancing classes, were “spitting feathers” when they read the letters.

Mrs King, of Hubert Road, St Cross, said: “Do pensioners add to the cost of running the buses?

“A bus service needs to be run where possible. Why stop pensioners using the empty seats to help them enjoy their wellearned retirement?

“Getting us out and about must help the local economy.

“Taking away the bus passes would have the effect of confining many old people to their homes, resulting in a lonely and solitary way of life.”

For the big bus pass debate click here