‘Make free travel equal!’ Pensioners call for a free bus pass for all hours of the day

Sadiq Khan quizzed by pensioner on future of free bus passes

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Some Britons have asserted older people and those with health challenges will need more support in getting out and about. They made their feelings known by posting a petition on the Parliament website which calls for a change.

 

The petition reads: “The English National Concessionary Travel Scheme (ENCTS) only gives people over state pension age and people with an eligible disability a right to free travel on bus services from 9.30am-11pm.

“This should be extended so eligible people can travel for free on buses at any time.”

The petition states many older people and those who are living with a disability will need to travel regularly.

This could be for important medical appointments, going to work or to school, for example.

As such, making public transport regularly available could provide further assistance to these individuals, it has been argued.

The petition continues: “Restricting their rights to free bus travel to certain times is not fair, and can mean they cannot travel to work/school/appointments for free at standard times.

“Most work and school places start at 9 – so special arrangements often have to be made, or they get turned down.

“Make the right to free travel equal, no matter the time of day.”

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At present, the petition has only garnered 45 signatures, which means it falls short of that which is necessary to take the matter further.

For Parliament petitions, some 10,000 signatures are required to trigger an official Government response.

Petitions which reach over 100,000 signatures are considered for debate in Parliament.

All petitions on the website run for a total of six months, and this one will run until May 22, 2022.

It leaves Britons with just over a month to contribute their signature should they so wish. 

To apply for an older person’s bus pass, individuals can visit the Government’s website.

Here, they will be able to enter their postcode to be redirected to their local authority.

The tool lets people apply for a bus pass, and check whether they could get one sooner than they think.

What is happening where you live? Find out by adding your postcode or visit InYourArea

In England, a free bus pass is available at the state pension age.

One of the only exceptions to this rule in London, where individuals can travel for free on buses, tubes and other transport from 60 – but only within the capital.

In Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland people can get a free bus pass from the age of 60.

This is due to devolved governments having jurisdiction over travel. 

The Department for Transport has been contacted by Express.co.uk for comment. 

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