Mary attacks planned government cuts to concessionary coach fares
Wakefield MP Mary Creagh wrote to Transport Ministers on 31 August after being inundated with letters from people in Wakefield who are worried about the government's scrapping of the coach concessionary travel scheme. Travelling by coach will become more expensive for thousands of pensioners and disabled people across the country, following a little-publicised decision by the Tory-led Government to end concessionary coach travel by October 2011.
The scheme allows anyone over 60 or with a disability to claim half price off-peak travel and reductions of 30% at peak times on National Express and other long distance coach routes.
Age UK and other charities are campaigning against the move to scrap concessionary fares, saying that the scheme is one way in which government can help tackle social exclusion and isolation amongst vulnerable groups.
Mary said “The cut to the concessionary coach travel scheme from October is another attack on some of the most vulnerable people in our community. My postbag has been full of letters from people who are worried that they won’t be able to afford to travel to see family or go on holiday as a result of this.
“Ministers need to understand that coaches are a vital link for pensioners and disabled people and that losing their concessionary travel could greatly reduce their quality of life. I’ve raised this with the government asking them to think again before it’s too late.”