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2007 Retired Members' Conference
8 October 2007

The Government included in the 2006 budget the introduction of free local bus travel for pensioners and disabled persons in April 2006 and free nationwide bus travel in April 2008. The implementation of the free local bus travel in April 2006 has not been consistent. Local schemes have been implemented but with many anomalies and unfair treatment in some cities including time restrictions.

Conference believes that a national bus pass for pensioners will fall short of what is needed in that it will only enable travel on local busues and exclude express travel, trains and other forms of public transport. The Government’s policy should include free nationwide travel on buses, trams, trains, tubes/metros and all local ferries with no restrictive time penalties for implementation in April 2008.

Pensioners’ health and well being and quality of life would be greatly enhanced by the freedom to travel at any time and at no costs. Apart from the pleasure and financial help this would give pensioners, the worry of attending early appointments would be eased if there were no time restrictions.

Therefore, Conference:

1.instructs the National Retired Members’ Committee (NRMC) and calls on the National Executive Council to vigorously campaign together with the National Pensioners’ Convention and the Trades Union Congress to put strong pressure on the Government for national funding for free nationwide travel to enable all senior citizens to travel by road, rail and other forms of public transport with no time restrictions commencing in April 2008;

2.urgently requests the NRMC to produce campaign material for use by regional and branch committtees which sets out specific requirements necessary to achieve a truly workable and acceptable free travel scheme throughout the United Kingdom;

3.instructs the NRMC to work with the Transport Service Group Executive to report progress to all UNISON retired members through regions and branches by 31 January 2008.