24 October 2012
Government's cuts to concessionary coach fares are reducing mobility of the elderly and the disabled.
In an announcement released today, National Express reported an anticipated fall one million coach journeys in 2012 for those passengers eligible for concessionary fares. Prior to the 2010 Spending Review, older people and those with disabilities were entitled to a half price discount on long distance coach fares.
Campaign for Better Transport’s Campaigns Director Richard Hebditch will raise concerns about the impact of the removal of coach concessionary fares to MPs today, when he gives evidence to the Environmental Audit Committee. The Committee is examining the accessibility of public services and how cuts to transport funding are affecting older people and other groups’ ability to access services and other amenities.
Richard Hebditch said
"The announcement from National Express demonstrates exactly what campaigners said would happen. By cutting support for concessionary travel, Government is harming older and disabled passengers, while threatening the viability of coach services. The Government should reconsider the cut in the light of this evidence”.
In August 2011, Campaign for Better Transport, Age UK, Disability Alliance and the National Pensioners’ Convention wrote to MPs, warning of the likely impact of removing concessionary fares.
Government support for concessionary fares was removed in November 2011. Previously it had been available on long-distance coach routes in England to the over 60s and those with disabilities.
The reduction in concessionary travel on coaches was announced by National Express Group Plc as part of its Third Quarter 2012 Interim Management Statement, issued on 24 October 2012.