Later start for bus passes will hit elderly

I HAVE recently written to MP Norman Baker, in his Government role as Transport Minister. Along with other constituents I am concerned at recent media reports that the start time for bus passes for the elderly will be pushed back to a 9.30am start.

For people without any other income, apart from the state retirement pension, this can be costly if hospital/clinic/doctors appointment cannot be arranged for later in the day.

Another aspect of this later start is many of our charity and volunteer organisations are staffed by the elderly age group. If they have to pay the full fare, they may well not be able to afford to do this work.

The knock-on effect of this may well be the social life these volunteers have gained will deteriorate resulting in their isolation/depression and feeling of not being useful.

This may well cause them to be an extra drain on the NHS.

The way bus pass fares are charged to councils also needs serious investigation. Drivers never ask for the passenger’s destination and the full journey is charged. This is immoral/illegal and a charge on the public purse.

As Norman Baker has wanted openness in such matters - he should now be very concerned about such matters, particularly in view of cuts to public services.

Maybe other readers could ask him to look into these questionable practices.

June Wood

Landsdown Road, Seaford