Elderly set to lose out on peak free bus travel
Bus passes issued to elderly and disabled people in Wiltshire are to stop being valid for peak time morning journeys in a bid to save up to £300,000 a year.
Wiltshire Council is to change its concessionary bus fares from next year and is consulting over whether permits should start at 9am or 9.30am.
At the moment Wiltshire spends £4.6 million a year on the passes but the council wants to save some of this so it can spend more on areas such as 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.”
John Weller, chairman of Devizes branch of the University of the Third Age, which has many retired members said: “I would think the majority of our members use their passes after 9.30am so would not be affected. But there are probably other disabled or older people who are still working and use their pass to get to work so they would be unhappy.”
Wiltshire is the only local authority in the region which provides all-day concessionary passes to all eligible groups. .
The consultation can be found at http://bit.ly/1s MS2ZN and will run until September 26.
Some Wiltshire councillors say some elderly and disabled people will not be able to take part in the consultation as they do not have internet access.