Welsh Government
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Free bus pass plans remain the same in Wales

Elderly and disabled passengers will still travel free on Welsh local bus services, Deputy First Minister Ieuan Wyn Jones has stressed today (Monday March 15).

Responding to the Department of Transport’s decision to raise the age of entitlement in England in line with State Pension rules from April 1st, Mr Jones clarified there are to be no changes in Wales. He also reiterated his commitment to extend the scheme to include seriously injured veterans and service personnel from April 2011.

Mr Jones, who is also the Minister for the Economy and Transport, said,

“The Welsh Assembly Government’s free bus travel scheme is both successful and popular. More than 620,000 free bus passes have been issued throughout Wales, and the scheme continues to go from strength to strength.

“I wish to reassure all existing and future pass holders that residents of Wales will continue to be eligible to apply to their local authority for a pass on the basis of age when they reach 60 years, irrespective of any changes to the State pension”

Welcoming the announcement, Margaret Everson, Senior Officer for Wales of Bus Users UK said,

“The scheme has had a tremendously beneficial impact on the lives of so many elderly and disabled people. The comments we receive at Bus Users surgeries throughout Wales make it clear just how important free bus travel is in ensuring people can get out and about without worrying about cost. It has greatly improved people’s lives.”

Charlie Nelson of the local authorities’ Association of Transport Co-ordinating Officers in Wales, added,

“I too very much welcome this news. It is impossible to over-estimate the effect the scheme has had. In addition to the benefits to pass holders, it has helped to turn around what had been a long-term decline in bus patronage. That has to be good news for everyone interested in encouraging greater use of public transport.”

Representing the Confederation of Passenger Transport and the bus industry, John Pockett, Director of Government Relations in Wales said,

“We have always considered the scheme in Wales to be a model of best practice in how it was developed through a real partnership with the Assembly Government and local authorities, along with the bus industry. We are very pleased that the Minister has made it clear that there are no plans to curtail the entitlements of elderly and disabled people in Wales.”

Related Link:

Concessionary Bus Travel - Did you know that if you are a pensioner or disabled person that you are entitled to free local bus travel?



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