Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Over 60s Should Be Given Free Travel Too

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Over 60s Should Be Given Free Travel Too

Article excerpt

AMONG the many pledges that Labour mayoral candidate, Andy Burnham, has made in his manifesto, is to offer free bus passes for 16 to 18-year-olds living in Greater Manchester.

However, we note that the offer does not extend to reinstating free bus passes (concessionary travel) for people over 60-years of age who also live in Greater Manchester.

Before 2010, all residents living in Greater Manchester were eligible for a free bus pass after reaching 60 years of age. Since then, the age at which a person qualifies for a free bus pass in Greater Manchester, has been rising incrementally each year until it reaches the UK state retirement age.

Therefore, many people who are now over 60 years of age, will no longer qualify for a free bus pass even though they may have expected to receive one.

The situation in other parts of the UK is rather different.

If you live in Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland, you qualify for a free bus pass when you reach 60 years of age. Likewise, if you live in a borough of Greater London, you will qualify for a free bus pass at 60 under the TFL Oyster card scheme.

Such a discriminatory transport policy within the regions of the UK, seems to us both grossly unfair and iniquitous. If Andy Burnham is keen on promoting equality, one would have thought that he would have considered the elderly in Greater Manchester, when formulating his transport policy.

As the Labour candidate for mayor of Greater Manchester, will he now 'commit' to reinstating free bus travel for the over 60s throughout Greater Manchester? Brian Bamford, Secretary Tameside TUC Not just our city's problem HARRY Singleton's letter (Viewpoints April 13) extolling the virtues of Manchester as a world city comes as a welcome relief after many critical comments about litter, beggars and public drug-taking.

The latter problems are not unique to the city and can be found to some extent in any city or town.

Continental cities are often held up as good examples of public behaviour but I fear that many who make such assertions are looking at the unfamiliar foreign scenes through rose-coloured spectacles. …

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