Don't take away our ticket to ride

Daily Echo: Don't take away our ticket to ride Don't take away our ticket to ride

DON’T take away our
lifeline - that is the plea from
Southampton pensioners amid
calls for transport chiefs to scrap
free bus passes.
A host of Daily Echo readers
have called for the scheme to be
revised or even axed, in favour of
saving loss-making services.
But elderly residents from
across the city have now hit back
at that suggestion, claiming that
taking away their passes would be
“catastrophic”.
It comes after city council chiefs
gave the go-ahead to compensate
operators for carrying pensioners.
Civic bosses have rubberstamped
the agreement, which
will see the council hand over
almost £5m to bus companies for
ferrying around elderly passengers
during the next 12 months.
Hampshire County Council has
signed a similar £13m subsidy.
But as reported by the Daily
Echo, some readers believe the
scheme is to blame for operators
being forced to axe certain
routes, with a number of correspondents
even calling for OAP
bus passes to be scrapped.
Pensioners from across the city
have condemned those calls.
Bitterne resident Mrs Lambert,
75, said: “We have worked all our
lives and paid our taxes. Why
shouldn’t we be entitled to free
travel in old age?
“I wouldn’t mind going back to
the way it was before, paying 20p
or 30p a journey perhaps, but not
having bus passes at all would be
catastrophic. They are a lifeline
for pensioners. It’s the only way
they can get out and socialise.
“All these people who don’t
want us to have a free pass forget
that they are going to get old one
day, and then they will want one.”
Another Bitterne pensioner,
who asked not to be named, said:
“These people don’t understand
how much these passes mean to
us. Most of us don’t drive and
buses are our only option if we
want to get out and do some shopping
or visit family.”
But Vanessa Roberts, a 65-yearold
from Thornhill, suggested the
scheme could be revised.
She said: “Perhaps it might be
better if pensioners were given a
limited pass, which they could
use on certain days or so many
times a month, rather than a
blanket thing for all pensioners
no matter how wealthy they are.
“I would rather see a divorced
single mum with two children get
a free bus pass, instead of a
wealthy pensioner.”
Prime Minister David Cameron
has promised that free bus passes
will be safeguarded until 2015, but
there is no guarantee that they
will remain in place beyond the
current Parliament.

Comments (9)

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5:35pm Mon 19 Nov 12

sarfhamton says...

Just make it off peak, the buses are empty then anyway
Just make it off peak, the buses are empty then anyway sarfhamton

5:53pm Mon 19 Nov 12

SaintM says...

If they lose their free bus also stop ALL student discounts to make it faier to all.
If they lose their free bus also stop ALL student discounts to make it faier to all. SaintM

6:08pm Mon 19 Nov 12

sotonbev says...

How awful this is, the buses offer a public service and yet they want to take it way from the elderly, it,s not right, there are so many elderly people who only get out and about 1/2 days a week probably because they cant afford it and now the horrible bus people want to charge them for thier outings, think again who ever is in charge, your a disgrace.
How awful this is, the buses offer a public service and yet they want to take it way from the elderly, it,s not right, there are so many elderly people who only get out and about 1/2 days a week probably because they cant afford it and now the horrible bus people want to charge them for thier outings, think again who ever is in charge, your a disgrace. sotonbev

6:09pm Mon 19 Nov 12

Rob444 says...

The problem with being charged for using a bus pass, is that if it starts at 10p, that will gradually be increased to 30p, 50p, and so on.

We were promised FREE bus passes, and that's how it should stay.

.
The problem with being charged for using a bus pass, is that if it starts at 10p, that will gradually be increased to 30p, 50p, and so on. We were promised FREE bus passes, and that's how it should stay. . Rob444

6:26pm Mon 19 Nov 12

SaintsBTGOG says...

Such a 'non story' when the original article had two people complaining about the oap buses !
Such a 'non story' when the original article had two people complaining about the oap buses ! SaintsBTGOG

7:15pm Mon 19 Nov 12

huckit P says...

To make it fair the bus pass should be means-tested. Those who can afford to pay for bus travel should do so whether they are a pensioner, student or person on benefits. The passes should also be limited to off-peak times and weekends.
To make it fair the bus pass should be means-tested. Those who can afford to pay for bus travel should do so whether they are a pensioner, student or person on benefits. The passes should also be limited to off-peak times and weekends. huckit P

8:10pm Mon 19 Nov 12

Vonnie says...

sarfhamton wrote:
Just make it off peak, the buses are empty then anyway
It already is which shows just how much you know about the issue of bus passes
[quote][p][bold]sarfhamton[/bold] wrote: Just make it off peak, the buses are empty then anyway[/p][/quote]It already is which shows just how much you know about the issue of bus passes Vonnie

6:18am Tue 20 Nov 12

townieboy says...

Yeah a divorced single mum cant afford the bus on all the benfits they scam can they.lol.
Yeah a divorced single mum cant afford the bus on all the benfits they scam can they.lol. townieboy

11:15am Tue 20 Nov 12

ohec says...

I see no reason why they can't be means tested and those that qualify pay 50p per journey, in an ideal world they would be free for all pensioners but in the current climate everybody is getting hit so i see no reason why pensioners should escape all of the pain.
But i am 100% against one comment suggesting that single mums should get a bus pass, i would be more in favour of reducing their perks.
I see no reason why they can't be means tested and those that qualify pay 50p per journey, in an ideal world they would be free for all pensioners but in the current climate everybody is getting hit so i see no reason why pensioners should escape all of the pain. But i am 100% against one comment suggesting that single mums should get a bus pass, i would be more in favour of reducing their perks. ohec

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