The Government has announced that disabled and older people in England will continue to benefit from free off-peak bus travel under the continuation of the English National Concessionary Travel Scheme.
The scheme, which provides free travel on off-peak services in England for passengers aged over 65 or with a disability, was established in 2007. The Government has amended legislation to protect the scheme in its current format, meaning it can continue to play a valuable role in keeping people connected with their local communities for the foreseeable future.
Responding to the announcement, Claire Haigh, Chief Executive of Greener Journeys, said:
“This is a welcome decision which protects a vital service for elderly and vulnerable passengers across the country. A huge number of people rely upon buses to travel to work, to town centres, and to visit friends and family.
“Greener Journeys research has shown that every £1 spent on the free bus pass delivers at least £3.79 in wider benefits for society, by helping older and disabled people lead more active lives and access their communities and local services. Protecting the free bus pass scheme ensures that we as a society will all continue to benefit from this vital investment.”
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About Greener Journeys: Greener Journeys is a campaign dedicated to encouraging people to make more sustainable travel choices. It is a coalition of the UK’s leading public transport organizations, user groups and supporters. It aims to reduce CO2 emissions from transport by encouraging people to switch some of their car journeys to bus or coach instead. Switching from car to bus for just one journey a month would mean one billion fewer car journeys on our roads and would save 2 million tonnes of CO2 every year. For more information visit www.greenerjourneys.com