Anne McIntosh calls for pensioners to be allowed to contribute towards their bus fares

The Northern Echo: Anne McIntosh Anne McIntosh

PENSIONERS must be allowed to contribute towards their bus fares to help save services, one of the region’s Conservative MPs told ministers last night.

Strict rules that hand all elderly people free passes – or require them to pay full fares – should be abolished, Thirsk and Malton MP Anne McIntosh said.

The move would help ease growing “anxiety” in North Yorkshire and elsewhere that cash-starved local authorities will be forced to axe bus routes, she said.

And it would put bus travel on the same footing as rail services, where pensioners pay subsidised fares – but there is no blanket free travel for old folk.

Miss McIntosh said: “Many constituents are willing to subsidise their services. However, this solution is prohibited due to the Concessionary Bus Travel Act.

“When I have travelled on the bus from home to Northallerton or Thirsk, I am often the only full fare paying passenger on board.

“Yet the bus services are vital to my constituents. If residents are willing to pay for their service, then surely this must be permitted.”

Staging a Commons debate, the MP suggested the elderly could be allowed to pay partial fares on the bus itself, or in a different way.

The MP told The Northern Echo: “That is something to be worked out. I want to establish the same principle for bus passengers as for rail passengers.”

The debate came amid ongoing controversy over Conservative-run North Yorkshire County Council’s decision to axe £2m from bus subsidies.

Almost 6,000 people signed petitions protesting about the impact on dozens of less popular routes across the county, run by private operators which receive the subsidies.

But the council says the cuts are an unavoidable part of attempts to cope with Government cuts - with £94 million saved so far and a further £77m still to find.

Miss McIntosh agreed that the ‘Dial a Ride’ scheme – promoted by the council as an alternative to regular services – would not be able to “cope with the sheer number of users”.

And she pointed out that, of the £8m that North Yorkshire spent each year on subsidising bus fares, around 70 per cent of the passengers helped are elderly.

Miss McIntosh warned: “Allowing pensioners to have a bus pass is of great value - but of no avail if bus services are removed.”

There has been growing alarm about disappearing bus services, struck down by the double whammy of cuts to bus operator grants and local authority support budgets.

Darlington and Hartlepool are among town halls that provide no cash support at all, while Middlesbrough spends the third lowest sum in England (£123,600).

Comments (7)

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4:45pm Mon 10 Feb 14

elmo33 says...

BROKEN BRITISH POLITICS - How to Make Money from Nothing – Banks Do
What if you could use your computer to key in any figure you wanted into other people’s accounts as a Loan to them and the demand that they pay back this Money – Created from Nothing with Interest on top .
For this is exactly how Private Banks make money from Nothing by just keying in figures into Customer Accounts .For when you take out a Loan from a Private Bank what you are really doing is giving the Bank Permission to create the very Money you Borrow from Nothing ,after which they claim it as theirs and Demand you to give it back to them at Interest .
If loans that private banks use to ‘make money from nothing’ turn out to have been
too risky, then governments spend Billions or even Trillions of pounds of Our Money to bail these banks out . The banks on the other hand, begin to Hoard their Money no longer lending to Individuals ,Small Businesses or even to each other ,but raising Bank Charges and Interest Rates and Refusing Morgages .Austerity - £332.4 Billion to bail out Banks since 2007 -£50.5 Billion Foreign Aid 2014 ?
BROKEN BRITISH POLITICS - BANKS MAKE MONEY FROM NOTHING – THEN STEAL IT BACK AND ITS LEGAL
Banks do not use Depositors Money for Morgages - if you go the Bank for a Mortgage they make New Money for it- just print it – it is just figures on paper but when you default they end up with a Property Worth Something when in fact they bought it for Nothing and You End Up on the Street . WHY NOT ASK – LET THEM KNOW WE KNOW
http://brokenbritish
politics.simplesite.
com
BROKEN BRITISH POLITICS - How to Make Money from Nothing – Banks Do What if you could use your computer to key in any figure you wanted into other people’s accounts as a Loan to them and the demand that they pay back this Money – Created from Nothing with Interest on top . For this is exactly how Private Banks make money from Nothing by just keying in figures into Customer Accounts .For when you take out a Loan from a Private Bank what you are really doing is giving the Bank Permission to create the very Money you Borrow from Nothing ,after which they claim it as theirs and Demand you to give it back to them at Interest . If loans that private banks use to ‘make money from nothing’ turn out to have been too risky, then governments spend Billions or even Trillions of pounds of Our Money to bail these banks out . The banks on the other hand, begin to Hoard their Money no longer lending to Individuals ,Small Businesses or even to each other ,but raising Bank Charges and Interest Rates and Refusing Morgages .Austerity - £332.4 Billion to bail out Banks since 2007 -£50.5 Billion Foreign Aid 2014 ? BROKEN BRITISH POLITICS - BANKS MAKE MONEY FROM NOTHING – THEN STEAL IT BACK AND ITS LEGAL Banks do not use Depositors Money for Morgages - if you go the Bank for a Mortgage they make New Money for it- just print it – it is just figures on paper but when you default they end up with a Property Worth Something when in fact they bought it for Nothing and You End Up on the Street . WHY NOT ASK – LET THEM KNOW WE KNOW http://brokenbritish politics.simplesite. com elmo33

8:58am Tue 11 Feb 14

Darkroom Devil says...

There is nothing stopping anyone paying for their travel. One simply says to the driver "a single to".... Then tenders the required money. No one is forcing people to use bus passes.
There is nothing stopping anyone paying for their travel. One simply says to the driver "a single to".... Then tenders the required money. No one is forcing people to use bus passes. Darkroom Devil

9:06am Tue 11 Feb 14

David Lacey says...

I have a free bus pass. Rather than see cuts imposed I would be happy to pay a fixed 50p per journey - but not if others are allowed to travel for nothing. Legislation setting the cost of a journey at 50p would be preferable to means testing or cuts.
I have a free bus pass. Rather than see cuts imposed I would be happy to pay a fixed 50p per journey - but not if others are allowed to travel for nothing. Legislation setting the cost of a journey at 50p would be preferable to means testing or cuts. David Lacey

9:17am Tue 11 Feb 14

trugggg says...

By using the phrase, "ALLOWED to contribute" does Ms Mackintosh actually mean "COMPELLED to contribute"? If so she should actually make this clear.
By using the phrase, "ALLOWED to contribute" does Ms Mackintosh actually mean "COMPELLED to contribute"? If so she should actually make this clear. trugggg

11:22am Tue 11 Feb 14

darloboss says...

bus passes are given out like sweeties not just to pensioners but to ethnic groups and imigration seekers also the disabled qualify even if they are on the higher rate of dla and lease a motability car.
the bus companies only get an agreed amount per pass tendered not the full cost therefore they increase the paying passenger fares to a level where only pass users will be able to afford to travel
easiest answer scrap passes for everyone and reduce prices for everyone
bus passes are given out like sweeties not just to pensioners but to ethnic groups and imigration seekers also the disabled qualify even if they are on the higher rate of dla and lease a motability car. the bus companies only get an agreed amount per pass tendered not the full cost therefore they increase the paying passenger fares to a level where only pass users will be able to afford to travel easiest answer scrap passes for everyone and reduce prices for everyone darloboss

5:32pm Tue 11 Feb 14

grandmab says...

I met two able bodied people today,they have a red rose pass issued by the local council for free travel on Arriva buses. Why? What is that? Is it to allow them to travel to job interviews? I could understand that but these folks talked as if they had jobs. Any one know? As to paying for bus fare. I have a free pass but before that there was a subsidized fare for over 60's where we rode for half fare. They could bring that back. Some of us on subsidized routes already are paying voluntary fares such as every third journey just to help out the operators.
I met two able bodied people today,they have a red rose pass issued by the local council for free travel on Arriva buses. Why? What is that? Is it to allow them to travel to job interviews? I could understand that but these folks talked as if they had jobs. Any one know? As to paying for bus fare. I have a free pass but before that there was a subsidized fare for over 60's where we rode for half fare. They could bring that back. Some of us on subsidized routes already are paying voluntary fares such as every third journey just to help out the operators. grandmab

3:08pm Sun 16 Feb 14

Ia2861 says...

There are plenty of able bodied people with the free concessionary passes, for the likes of depression, ADHD etc.
There are plenty of able bodied people with the free concessionary passes, for the likes of depression, ADHD etc. Ia2861

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