Bus pass protection

As the Bus Pass celebrates its 10th Anniversary this year, the Government has announced plans to protect free bus travel for older and disabled people

Buses Minister, Nusrat Ghani announced changes to legislation that will protect the Bus Pass in England in its current form, allowing free off-peak travel to the over 65s and people with disabilities for the ‘foreseeable future’.

The Bus Pass has been available in England since 2007 and is now used by around 10million people. Until April this year, however, the legislation behind the scheme meant it had to be reviewed every five years, leaving people uncertain about whether their access to free travel would continue.

Recognising the significance of the Bus Pass in people’s lives, Nusrat Ghani said: “Being able to get out and about is hugely important for older and disabled people to keep their independence and play a role in their local community. The legislation underpinning our important bus pass scheme is now set for the future, meaning this group will be able to access their local services and amenities.”

Dawn Badminton-Capps, Director of Bus Users England, welcomed the move: “Bus Passes make sound economic sense. Not only do they allow people to contribute to the economy but they promote physical activity and encourage social inclusion, reducing the financial burden on other areas, such as social care.

“It would be great to see this same protection extended to Scotland and Wales.”

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