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To think free bus passes should be reformed

(105 Posts)
Ll81 Tue 13-Feb-18 08:53:49

Where I am the bus is so expensive it' usually has very few paying customers. services are being cut as the funding for the free bus pass has been cut and this was one given reason for raising fares and cutting services. Further compounding the problems.

To get to sign on from here is £16 and two busses. No help for anyone on low incomes or JSA.

In London tfl has over a billion pound debt, but still give out the freedom pass.

I've no problem with people that can't afford to run a car getting help with massively subsidised transport costs. For pensioners the calculation is already done for state pension so next to no means testing cost. Then people that need help could pay 95% less for the cost and people with money pay full cost. People often don't value "free" stuff.

The current system is killing off busses, espically in rural and semi rural areas.

billybagpuss Tue 13-Feb-18 08:57:47

Yep totally with you on this one, my parents have free bus passes because they're over 65. Dad uses his to go on a jolly to our local town a couple of times a month. They don't need it, they are very comfortably off. Mum even complained that they might be losing their winter fuel allowance and got upset when I pointed out that they didn't exactly need it and there are too many people that do and don't get it.

Zampa Tue 13-Feb-18 09:07:38

IMO the issue with local buses is privitisation (sp?) not free bus passes. Private companies don't want to run unprofitable routes when often a bus is the only means of transportation for some.

Buses in Greater Manchester are exorbitant when compared to those run by not for profit TfL. Here, you can't even use a return ticket bought with one bus company for a return on another bus despite it running a similar route.

TfL is due to have an operating profit by 2021 and I understand is only forecasting this deficit due to a govt cut in funding of £700m. I think the TfL model should be rolled out to all major cities immediately.

Free bus passes also take cars off the road, easing congestion.

Completely agree that job seekers need subsidised transport.

ginspritz Tue 13-Feb-18 09:29:35

I'm 38 but I have a Freedom Pass in London due to disabilities. It's also not means-tested but I'm on ESA and PIP so I'd still get it if it was. I agree with you OP - it does seem unfair that many people are using it as a perk (worth £2.5k a year) when some of them are on very high salaries and can easily afford to pay. My parents claim pension credit so they have to jump through lots of hoops to prove their income is low enough for that, so you're right that pensioners on a low income will already have been means tested.

Fortunately in London we do have half price bus passes for those on JSA and income support - I think it would be better if that was completely free and was available across the country as well.

Dancingfairy Tue 13-Feb-18 09:31:45

Was just coming on to say London have half price buses for those on benefits. I'm entitled to it but don't use it.

Ifailed Tue 13-Feb-18 09:33:43

it would probably be more expensive to means-test free bus passes than just issue them out automatically.

NewYearNiki Tue 13-Feb-18 09:37:52

In London tfl has over a billion pound debt, but still give out the freedom pass.

Yup. I lost my job. I have slightly too much in savings to qualify for benefits. I get national insurance contributions paid but no actual cash.

I have to spend £5 on buses to get to the job centre to sign on to not actually get any money.

My mum hasnt worked for over 40 years. Even before she had kids, she lived off her first husband and didnt work then. She worked for a brief period between marriages.

After having kids she sat on her arse and claimed benefits on the basis she bad children to care for.....we were early teens when she said she wasnt working as she had children ....who were at school all day and capable of being alone in the house for a couple of hours after school.

So she has paid virtually nothing into the system and taken plenty out.

She uses the local bus to go to the local town and back and that is it. She never goes anywhere else.

Because it is a London borough she has a freedom pass: a 6 zone London travel card which costs £2500 a year. She has had it since retirement and doesn't use it.

Sweetpotatoaddict Tue 13-Feb-18 09:37:58

I believe in Scotland the bus company receives 70% if the full adult fare for each journey completed with a pass. It almost reached the point that’s day ticket is cheaper than a single for some destinations. It’s un the bus companies best interest to hike the single ticket price as much as possible as it receives more noney. It costs more per mile to travel by bus than fly business class.

NewYearNiki Tue 13-Feb-18 09:39:06

it would probably be more expensive to means-test free bus passes than just issue them out automatically.

Give a free pass for local buses only. Dont have to means test that. A 6 zone london travel card across trains tubes trams and buses is excessive.

purpleme12 Tue 13-Feb-18 09:41:27

What is this freedom pass? I've never heard of it. Which people get free buses in London?

SwanneeKazoo Tue 13-Feb-18 09:43:42

Completely agree with Zampa that the issue is as a result of privatisation. Add to that the huge cuts in central government grants to local authorities and the result is that councils no longer have the funds to subsidise private companies to run unprofitable routes. Many councils have stopped all funding for public transport. However, some councils do offer bus passes for unemployed people, so if anyone is in need of one they should call their council for further details.

HollyBayTree Tue 13-Feb-18 09:44:15

How does how TFL run its services have any impact on the rural back of beyond. Our council tax etc pays for our TFL services, not yours.

purple a freedom pass is for over 60's but there is also a student oyster from 0-19, so no person in education pays for any TFL service.

HollyBayTree Tue 13-Feb-18 09:45:45

Because it is a London borough she has a freedom pass: a 6 zone London travel card which costs £2500 a year. She has had it since retirement and doesn't use it.

How is it costing if she isnt using it? Other than the initial set up whcih is presumably £20, which is what I have to pay if one of the children lose their free oyster

NewYearNiki Tue 13-Feb-18 09:47:20

Which people get free buses in London?

They get it all free across a 6 zone network.

My mum has lived off benefits all her life and claimed council tax benefit.

She's never paid a penny toward what she takes out.

London pensioners shouldnt get free transport across the whole network. They dont need it.

Dancingfairy Tue 13-Feb-18 09:47:25

Disabled people are also entitled to a freedom pass not just over 60s.

On another note I wish secondary school kids didn't get free buses. Its a real struggle to get on the bus round here because of them.

NewYearNiki Tue 13-Feb-18 09:51:17

On another note I wish secondary school kids didn't get free buses. Its a real struggle to get on the bus round here because of them.

I agree with that. They all get on the bus for one or two stops to school whereas if they had to pay they'd walk and it it is far less than a mile.

HollyBayTree Tue 13-Feb-18 09:52:35

London pensioners shouldnt get free transport across the whole network. They dont need it.

Why? Dont they have family and friends or hospital appointments? Im not a pensioner but I have to travel from Zone 6 to Zone 1 for hospital appointments and Im sure plenty of pensioner have to make that journey too. Is their health not worth it? Are they suposed to be isolated and cut off? Perhaps they are too old to want to go and take in a free museum - usually in central London - let them fester in their own homes, arent you the ray of sunshine?

Dancingfairy Tue 13-Feb-18 09:53:10

Yes I can never get the bus down to my children's school because it's packed with them. They never walk anywhere. I'm the one that has to walk despite paying.

HollyBayTree Tue 13-Feb-18 09:53:41

On another note I wish secondary school kids didn't get free buses. Its a real struggle to get on the bus round here because of them.

Why do you have to get on a but at 8am and then again at 3pm when you know its full of school children? Plan your day round peak times and you wont have to see them.

Dancingfairy Tue 13-Feb-18 09:56:09

Because my children go to school...primary school. I've never noticed an issue with primary school kids only secondary.

Ifailed Tue 13-Feb-18 09:56:50

London pensioners shouldnt get free transport across the whole network. They dont need it.

Luckily we have an elected mayor and assembly who think it's a good idea to allow older people to travel about the city for free after 9:30. Any why not, what harm are they doing to anyone else, going about their business, visiting friends, socialising, attending medical appointments, enjoying the many free parks & attractions?

MincemeatTart Tue 13-Feb-18 09:57:12

My elderly mother retained her independence because of her bus pass. She’d worked all her life never learned to drive because she couldn’t afford to. She would have been far more of a ‘burden’ if she lost her independence. It was good for both her physical and mental health. She only gave up independent bus travel aged 91 because she fractured her hip.

School children should have free travel until they leave school.

Why should people who can’t afford to run a car get free transport on top of other benefits? The free travel for children and the disabled would address most of that. Otherwise they could work....

NewYearNiki Tue 13-Feb-18 10:00:50

Any why not, what harm are they doing to anyone else, going about their business, visiting friends, socialising, attending medical appointments, enjoying the many free parks & attractions?

Because tfl is in debt and all if the pensioners i know around here dont venture into london alone.

HollyBayTree Tue 13-Feb-18 10:04:39

Because tfl is in debt and all if the pensioners i know around here dont venture into london alone.

In which case their family will be paying full fare and bumping up the coffers.

On a serious note, you must live in a parallel universe if no one you know over 60 goes out alone. Perhaps I just live amongst funky pensioners who are always out and about.

Slartybartfast Tue 13-Feb-18 10:12:00

newyearnikki
does your mum know you speak so highly of her hmm

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