- Tuesday, 04 September 2012
The National Federation of Occupational Pensioners (NFOP) welcomes the news that concessionary bus pass holders will be able to travel by train at a reduced cost without having to pay out for a Senior Railcard.
Launched on Sunday 31st August by the Department for Transport (DfT), the twelve month trial will mean that older and disabled people who hold a bus-pass can buy train tickets at a thirty-four per cent discount on standard class tickets at off-peak times on two test routes. In order to get reduced ticket prices, bus pass holders normally have to buy an annual Senior Railcard, currently costing nearly thirty pounds.
Roger Turner, General Secretary of NFOP, said: “The idea of using the concessionary bus pass as a senior railcard is not a new one. The NFOP instigated the campaign and actively lobbied for this alongside fellow pensioner organisations. The ‘trial’ is the fruit of these labours.
“The current system is counter-productive as the cost deters many pensioners from considering using the railways, resulting in a loss of revenue to the train operating companies.
“The bus pass is free to recipients reaching pensionable age and acts as proof of eligibility for concessionary travel but in order to benefit from reduced train fares, pensioners are expected to pay nearly thirty pounds for the Senior Railcard.
“Isolation, lack of mobility and social exclusion are huge problems for an ageing society. We would urge all those in receipt of a concessionary bus pass who use the lines on the two trial routes, between Worcester and Swindon via Stroud and between Westbury and Weymouth, to take full advantage over the next twelve months. I fear it is a use or lose it situation.”
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