End of the road for free go-anywhere bus pass for the over-60s

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  • dzug1
    dzug1 Forumite Posts: 13,535
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    Seems to be a typical piece of journalistic hype written by someone who has only ever seen a bus from the driving seat of their car. 'End of the road' turns out to be a bit of tinkering at the edges.
  • margaretclare
    margaretclare Forumite Posts: 10,789 Forumite
    I'm not sure this concession was ever intended to facilitate free holiday travel up and down the land - the possibility of free journeys from the Scottish Borders to Land's End. I was led to believe that it was a concession for essential local travel and for social reasons, but not one to facilitate holiday travel of 1000 miles, as in the example in the article.

    It must be quite an adventure to 'see how far we can go for nothing', but although this concession was for older and disabled people, it seems to me that you'd need to be reasonably fit to take full advantage of it. For some of us even walking to our nearest bus stop is difficult, never mind hopping on and off buses, waiting for the next one, carrying luggage etc...DH and I couldn't do it!
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  • Oblivion
    Oblivion Forumite Posts: 20,248
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    I suppose there was a certain inevitability about this, now That Gordon has taken 'UK plc' into bankruptcy.

    I was hoping for free rail travel for the over 60s within the M25 catchment, but that is probably now just a dream consigned to the New Labour dustbin of broken promises.

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  • pineapple123
    pineapple123 Forumite Posts: 717
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    The bus pass has been so successful in popular tourist destinations, such as North Norfolk and along the South Coast, that bus companies have had to put on extra services. Paying passengers on services into Swanage, Dorset, have complained of having to stand all the way because all the seats on double deckers were taken by over-60s pass holders.

    I am lucky to live inear this part of dorset and this is so true, My family travel to swanage in the holidays (on an open topped bus mainly) and find it difficult to get a seat and they have to pay full fare likewise on the odd occassion that i have travelled on the bus I have paid fares for myself and my family and stood up for over 3/4 hours journey. Dont get me wrong it seemed like a great scheme however in practise its terrible, many people use the scheme when they vist on holiday, and council tax has risen/services cut because of a shortfall in funding from goverment.
    Children over the age of 14 have to pay full fare even going to school and there are no concessions not everyone is rich around here.
  • seven-day-weekend
    seven-day-weekend Forumite Posts: 36,755
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    Blow! I am one of the ones who wanted to travel around the country when I get my bus pass next year!

    So what is changing that I can't? It never has been valid for long distances, has it? It's only ever been local buses? (But you could travel up the country using local buses).

    So what's going to be different?
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  • EdInvestor
    EdInvestor Posts: 15,749 Forumite
    The bus pass has been so successful in popular tourist destinations, such as North Norfolk and along the South Coast, that bus companies have had to put on extra services. Paying passengers on services into Swanage, Dorset, have complained of having to stand all the way because all the seats on double deckers were taken by over-60s pass holders.

    I am lucky to live inear this part of dorset and this is so true, My family travel to swanage in the holidays (on an open topped bus mainly) and find it difficult to get a seat and they have to pay full fare


    This seems to be why services intended "primarily for tourism" are to be excluded, though it begs the question "can pensioners not be tourists?". Obviously the south coast is home to many pensioners, as well as tourists, so it's a little surprising that the government did not factor in the likelihood of stronger demand in those areas than elsewhere. :rolleyes:

    Restrictions on the time the passes can be used ( not before 9/9.30am) should mean that those local paying customers travelling to work or school are not affected.

    This move looks like minor tweaking, but needs watching to make sure it is not the thin end of the wedge.
    Trying to keep it simple...;)
  • EdInvestor
    EdInvestor Posts: 15,749 Forumite
    So what's going to be different?


    Not a lot:) Only a few specialist services (coaches, park n ride, open top tour buses) will be excluded, you can still travel free on ordinary local buses everywhere..
    Trying to keep it simple...;)
  • seven-day-weekend
    seven-day-weekend Forumite Posts: 36,755
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    EdInvestor wrote: »
    Not a lot:) Only a few specialist services (coaches, park n ride, open top tour buses) will be excluded, you can still travel free on ordinary local buses everywhere..

    Oh good! I'm really looking forward to travelling around on the bus when we are in the UK for half a year (probably from 2010 when I get my pension).

    Of course pensioners can also be tourists! We don't all only want to catch the bus to go to the market!
    (AKA HRH_MUngo)
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    Imagine someone holding forth on biology whose only knowledge of the subject is the Book of British Birds, and you have a rough idea of what it feels like to read Richard Dawkins on theology: Terry Eagleton
  • LittleVoice
    LittleVoice Forumite Posts: 8,975
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    EdInvestor wrote: »
    Not a lot:) Only a few specialist services (coaches, park n ride, open top tour buses) will be excluded, you can still travel free on ordinary local buses everywhere..

    Any link regarding park and ride? You don't book for travel on those, do you? They aren't tourist buses.
  • Biggles
    Biggles Forumite Posts: 8,210 Forumite
    Yes, I've really come to find the free use of P&R tremendously useful, I shall miss that if they start charging.
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