Proposed changes to Brighton and Hove bus passes criticised by Older People’s Council

Posted On 11 Feb 2016 at 2:16 pm

The Older People’s Council has criticised proposed changes to bus pass conditions as Brighton and Hove City Council prepares to set its budget for the year ahead.

It said: “The speculative saving of £40,000 is a drop in the ocean compared to the money the council is gaining from parking and will be seen as such.”

But the Labour-led council said that it had taken on board feedback and looked elsewhere in the budget for savings from the new financial year in April.

The change was included in the small print of a 450-page bundle of papers published before the meeting of the council’s Policy and Resources Committee and voted through this afternoon (Thursday 11 February).

The Older People’s Council said: “The OPC believe that very few people in the city know about the proposal in the budget to restrict the use of bus passes until after 9.30 in the morning and 11 at night.

“This will affect 39,500 older people and 5,839 disabled people across the city.

“For those that travel to medical appointments, social activities, caring responsibilities or volunteering groups across the city this will have a large impact for a small financial saving.

“If you live in Mile Oak, Hangleton and Knoll, Patcham or Saltdean and need to get to the Royal Sussex County Hospital for 10am you will have to pay or change your appointment.

Buses in North Street. Picture by Matt Davis on Flickr

Buses in North Street. Picture by Matt Davis on Flickr

“Many thousands of pensioners are on low incomes as are many people with disabilities.

“Also, people with disabilities have seen their incomes squeezed in recent years and cannot afford additional costs.

“Many blood tests have to be done early in the morning so many people will have no choice but to travel.

“Health needs are much higher for older people with 51.9 per cent of over 65s in this city with multiple long-term illness or disabilities.

“Much is written about the detrimental effects of social isolation and for many older people the use of the bus pass is literally a lifeline.

“Restricting its use may seem like a small change to some but for many people in this city it will be another blow to their quality of life.”

  1. Linda Bramley Reply

    Here we go again. Targeting the less well of and less able. Stinks!

    • Gerald Wiley Reply

      Or rather trying to reduce the cost of running the subsidy?

      What happens if a bus pass holder gets an appointment currently at 8am? So they have to pay for a single ticket in the morning!

      I’d push for even tigther restrictions to stop bus passes being used, perhaps, between 3pm and 7pm to target those who work and should be able to afford the bus fare anyway.

      Or even limit the number of free trips to, perhaps, 4 per day.

      Remember – our poor Mr Haris gets 90p everytime a bus pass users gets on a bus.

  2. Lloyd Russell-Moyle Reply

    This is not true. The Tories impose cuts were going to mean bus pass times were reduced but the Labour Council has been able to protect bus passes and there will be no changes to bus pass times in Brighton and Hove

  3. Brian Snow Reply

    I heard this wasn’t happening.

  4. Frank le Duc Reply

    Thanks, Lloyd and Brian. Late papers for the council’s Policy and Resources Committee (P&R) meeting, which is taking place today, proposed reinstating the £40k. This has just been accepted in a vote at the meeting. It hadn’t been accepted when I went to the most recent Transport, Environment and Sustainability Committee in the current committee cycle. I would be reluctant to prejudge a vote at P&R given that no party has a majority. The story above has been updated to reflect this.

    • Lloyd Russell-Moyle Reply

      Thanks for the updating this Frank – Labour did send the press release out last week saying this would not happen. Of course nothing is agreed until the final budget (and the other parties could still force further cuts) but Labour’s latest proposal has been to ensure that no bus routes will be cuts and no changes to bus pass travel times.

      • Frank le Duc Reply

        Sorry for the confusion. I didn’t see the Labour press release which was sent out late last Friday – although I’ve found it now!
        The OPC budget feedback was already with me but I didn’t have a chance to write it up until today.

  5. MARC Reply

    GET BRIGHTON AND HOVE BUSES AND GREEN.LABOUR COUNCIL OUT OF OUR CITY ONCE AND FOR ALL!!!!!

  6. Alec Newton Reply

    If it helps change it to say 65 year olds which is the pension age , but don’t surely change the times as this group who are less mobile than you’re persons , cannot easily get work and have to live with all the disadvantages of there age and that to include illness , less able to walk and economical predicament of this age group . If any one has any conscience toward our elders then we should do more not less ! were prepared to help others who we welcome to our country then why not our own parents and families who have worked and served all there lives for our country .

  7. Charlotte Reply

    Hi, if you are on a low income you can claim for travel expenses, so check it out if the bus pass changes happen.

    http://www.nhs.uk/NHSEngland/Healthcosts/Pages/nhs-low-income-scheme.aspx

Leave a Reply

*

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.