Council to keep concessionary travel available throughout the day
Residents with a national concessionary bus pass can continue to
travel for free on early morning buses following successful
negotiations between Bedford Borough Council and bus operators.
With a requirement for £36 million of savings of four years in
order to deliver a balanced Council budget, the Council’s
Modernisation Programme had proposed changes which would have meant
travel passes would not have been valid for bus journeys before
9.30am, bringing the arrangements into line with the national
Following negotiations with commercial bus operators the Council
has now agreed a new long term deal which achieves savings for
local taxpayers while retaining the local extension to the
concessionary travel scheme which enables use of the pass before
9.30am for journeys within the borough.
There are currently just over 26,000 residents in Bedford Borough
who hold a concessionary travel pass. The passes are issued to
residents who are of eligible state pension age or have a
Mayor of Bedford Borough, Dave Hodgson, said: “I am absolutely
delighted that we are able to maintain the Council’s local top-up
of the national concessionary pass scheme and can continue to
enable pass holders in Bedford Borough to use peak time buses. The
deal represents a fantastic result for both the older and
vulnerable residents in the Borough who benefit from the extended
scheme and for local taxpayers.
“We are committed to supporting public transport in the borough.
This is why we are bucking the trend and continuing to support a
strong network of rural bus routes at a time when other authorities
are cutting back, and have introduced new Sunday and late-evening
services in Bedford and Kempston.”
Cllr Shan Hunt, Portfolio Holder for Revenue and Benefits,
added: “The decision to continue to support concessionary travel
throughout the day is an excellent example of our commitment to
supporting older and vulnerable members of our communities.
“We know concessionary travel passes are vitally important for
the local residents who use them and I am very pleased we have been
able to come to an agreement with our commercial partners so we can
continue to support early morning concessionary travel.”
An Executive Decision on the concessionary travel passes has
been approved and subject to call in, will come into effect on the
7th March 2012.