- 2006 Retired Members' Conference
- 12 June 2006
The Government included in the 2005 Budget, the introduction of free local bus travel for pensioners in April 2006. The implementation has been costly and complicated. In some towns, for example Southampton, free bus travel is limited to within a city boundary, with two exceptions, one to a hospital, the other to a supermarket, both just outside the boundary. In other parts of Hampshire, for example, Portsmouth and Eastleigh, pensioners can travel free anywhere in the Hampshire county. These anomalies are happening throughout England.
Free national travel would be beneficial to pensioners’ health and well-being. Why is the Government determined to make pensioners wait? Campaigning, lobbying and meetings with the Ministry of Transport do not seem to have any effect on policy. The Government’s proposal for free nationwide bus travel for pensioners in April 2008 must be amended:
1)free nationwide travel should include buses, trams, trains, tubes/metros and local ferries, with no restrictive time penalties on travel, and;
2)implementation should be no later than April 2008.
Therefore, Conference instructs the National Retired Members’ Committee and calls on the National Executive Council to vigorously campaign together with the National Pensioners’ Convention and the Trade Unions Congress to put strong pressure on the Labour Government for national funding and implementation of free nationwide travel, no later than April 2008.