Lib Dems oppose cuts to free travel for older people

December 1, 2010 6:00 AM
Originally published by Surrey County Council Lib Dems
Another Tory cut.

Under the Cabinet plans, bus passes will start at 9.30am instead of 9.00am.

Surrey County Council's Conservative Cabinet plans to make serious cuts in the free bus travel that Surrey residents aged over 60 currently enjoy.

The County Council is scheduled to take over responsibility for administering the free travel scheme from the District and Borough Councils from 1st April 2011. When this happens, they plan to reduce its present scope for people over 60 to the bare minimum required by central government.

Currently in 10 of Surrey's 11 Districts bus passes can be used for free travel from 9.00am through until the last bus of the day. The Cabinet plans change this so they start at 9.30am and end at 11.00pm.

Liberal Democrat transportation Spokesman, County Councillor Stephen Cooksey (Dorking and the Holmwoods) said: "Currently 9% of all free travel takes place between 9.00am and 9.30am. This is important in allowing flexibility for residents to visit hospitals, doctors and dentists, to make shopping trips and to take advantage of other services".

"The current scheme is much appreciated by residents. The fact that so many people use it at these times indicates just how important it is. This is a real example of Conservatives deliberately making life more difficult for people who need help, at a time when so many services are being reduced or abandoned and when expenses are increasing all round."

"The Liberal Democrat group opposes this cut and will move a resolution in full Council on 14th December to reverse the decision, if the Cabinet go ahead with their plan."