Wiltshire residents are being asked for their views on proposed changes to concessionary bus fares from next year.

Wiltshire is the only local authority in the region which currently provides all-day concessionary passes to all eligible groups at a cost to the taxpayer of almost £4.6m a year.

The council faces significant financial pressures with reduced funding from central government, increased service demand and inflation and these pressures are likely to increase. Savings need to be made to help deliver the council’s priorities of protecting vulnerable people, boosting the local economy and bringing communities together.

John Thomson, cabinet member for transport, said: “We will continue to fund free travel for the elderly and disabled but we want people to tell us when they use the free transport and what options would work best for them so we can make savings while ensuring people can enjoy the free travel and go about their business.”

Residents and interested groups are being asked for their views on proposed changes which will mean that on weekdays Wiltshire's bus passes will be valid after either 9am or 9:30am.

The changes could save from £133,000 up to almost £300,000 from the budget over a year.

Any changes could be brought in from April 2015. The consultation is available at http://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/council/consultations.htm and will run until September 26 2014.