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Older people's bus passes should be allowed before 9.30am, county councillor urges

By citizenmike  |  Posted: March 06, 2014

Comments (11)

OLDER people in Gloucestershire should be able to use their bus passes before 9.30am, a county councillor has urged.

Councillor Tracy Millard (L, Tuffley) is concerned that older people in the county are being turned away by bus drivers who will not accept their passes before 9.30am.

Gloucestershire County Council recently renegotiated a concessionary fares agreement with Stagecoach but older people will not be able to use their bus passes before 9.30am.

Ms Millard fears that older people are missing vital medical appointments. She said: “We have a situation where older people are being refused entry on buses just minutes before they are allowed to use their bus pass. This is unacceptable and frankly disrespectful to the elderly people who often have medical appointments early in the morning.

“Older people are not asking for much. They should be able to use their passes in the morning.”

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  • norman937  |  March 09 2014, 3:54PM

    One question remains.................When is rush hour,as I had to be at work long before 8 am.

  • tishwash  |  March 09 2014, 1:14PM

    It's free for 9:30 onwards, so book your appts for later in the day, generally the people using these bus passes have "quieter days" if you can put it that way so they can generally work around restrictions. Sorry but RoadWombat pretty much sums up my feelings. What if all the concessionary people boarded, filled the bus and the "paying" people couldn't get on ? the bus company loses money and starts to re-evaluate their agreements ? What about those people that can't get to work because they're refused? Also it stops mis-use of the bus pass system to get people to work, i'm sure there'd be a black market of fake cards if they could be used to get to work in the mornings :)

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  • norman937  |  March 09 2014, 10:08AM

    bdbear,you obviously are misinformed,know very little about the tax system,or consider yourself the only person to be paying tax.As many pensioners are still doing this.Even ones who were abroad and did not use the NH,or recieve winter fuel allowance,still paid tax,they were also informed that in spite of making full NH contributions all their working lives were expected to pay again on their return.Yet in some countries their pension was frozen.I have seen this selfish attitude creep in when I was in the armed forces,nothing to do I want the same as,but a case of ,I cannot get,I must limit or stop others.

  • norman937  |  March 09 2014, 9:47AM

    A couple of comments about they should have to pay before 9.30.Why,do you believe the elderly have not earned a ticket to ride before 9.30.Myself and others like me have spent over twelve years in the armed forces,where you could not afford to marry,unless they gave you marriage allowance.We are now on the lowest pensions in Europe.Myself never having unemployed for fifty years.Yes I contributed as did others.I and many others know the buses run empty from 9.am.As regards the rush hour,I spent many years working in Cheltenham and I can assure you the rush hour is well and truly over long before 9.30.Many of the pensioners are not greedy,do not expect it as a right,but a little common sense would go a long way.Sadly to say this is not a case of they get something for nothing,I want it as well,but more of a case of,let`s stop or limit something I am not able to get yet.

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  • bdbear  |  March 07 2014, 11:33AM

    Yes you can travel on a bus before 9.30 tree1974 but you have to pay like the rest of us . Book your appointments to be after that time , I have to because of work if I did not do this i would not get paid ,pay less tax and therefore could not pay for these" free " passes .

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  • DG9999  |  March 07 2014, 8:46AM

    I have one of these cards and I make all my medical appointments after 09:30-it is not rocket science and, for the record, old people for the most part are also able to do this for themselves. This is not time for patronising Councillors to rock the boat on bus passes with many authorities possibly going to further curtail such as they can not afford to finance them!

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  • SandraPee  |  March 07 2014, 8:42AM

    Tree1974. An excellent couple of posts .

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  • Tree1974  |  March 07 2014, 6:26AM

    I don't think giving vulnerable people a lifeline is unreasonable. Traditionally your local council would have paid to transport these people in mini busses and taxi's at a HUGE cost to the tax payer, thus avoiding the 9:30 problem. Because of cuts this is happening less and less meaning that bus travel is the only safe option for some of these people. Without it they would become socially isolated which in the long run costs the tax payer far more in healthcare and support. If you are able and not vulnerable you have choices other than the bus such as walking or cycling if for whatever reason you are not able to pay the fair, this is frequently not suitable for people with a disability. Why should people who did not choose to be disabled have to be greatful for the crumbs thrown to them and take the left overs (such as left over space on the bus) rather than have the adjustments made that puts them on an even footing with the rest of society? Being treated fairly is not being greedy but being treated as a valuable human being - no person has less worth and less right to a decent life than the next person. Especially based on disability, age or vulnerability.

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  • RoadWombat  |  March 06 2014, 10:05PM

    Tree1974 - what you are doing is an excellent example of what is called "mission creep". When the concession was first introduced, everyone thought it was marvellous and understood fully why it did not apply outside the rush hour (the reason being, of course, to enable workers to get to work). Now that it has been in force a few years, you have forgotten this. Rather than being grateful for a very generous concession, it has become in your mind a "right" and if the hours aren't extended even further this will be "unfair" or "discrimination". The stage after that, of course, will be for you to claim that concessionaries should take precedence and the whole thing will have turned upside down. Don't get me wrong - I do have sympathy for people in a less advantageous position than myself and if there are spaces after non-concessionary passengers have boarded, then it would be silly not to allow concessionaries to use them, but please don't get too greedy and expect it as a right.

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  • Richardburton  |  March 06 2014, 10:02PM

    If you want to travel on the buses before 9.30 am then just pay for a ticket as many low income people have to do to go to work! The reason it say's 9.30 is so that the workers, children going to school etc get to their destination and can have a seat if lucky! They have rules for a reason which we all have to abide by.

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