Karelian

Concessionary Bus Travel

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Got on the bus today to find the fare has increased by 20 pence. Again.

Looking at my local bus company's website I see the following paragraph "justifying" their fare increases:

In the coming months we will be experiencing truly horrific increases in the price of fuel. One which takes effect from the 1st April is a 9p per litre increase in fuel duty tax due to the reduction in the Bus Operators Grant, which is on top of the fuel duty increases taking effect being widely reported in the media for all forms of transport (bar rail and plane). We have also seen the payment we receive for those travelling on the ENCTS (English National Concessionary Travel Scheme) almost frozen in Plymouth and it will be substantially cut in Cornwall. This means all the above cost increases can only be contributed to by those that pay a fare or buy a period pass.

So as a fare paying passenger I now have to subsidise pensioners' bus travel, most of whom appear to have far more disposable income than me!

When travellers are eventually priced out of public transport who is going to be paying for the "concessionary" fares?

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Got on the bus today to find the fare has increased by 20 pence. Again.

Looking at my local bus company's website I see the following paragraph "justifying" their fare increases:

So as a fare paying passenger I now have to subsidise pensioners' bus travel, most of whom appear to have far more disposable income than me!

Heh. Plimuff is my local big city, and its already a fiver (one way) to get there. Wouldn't be so bad if the road wasn't so covered in cars as to make cycling rather less than pleasant.

It's a strange anomaly, because every route other than Plimuff is subsidised, and therefore (relatively) much cheaper!

I'm in favour of subsidising pensioners bus travel, as it means fewer of them driving. I'd be in favour of subsidising those of us of working age, for exactly the same reason.

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I'm in favour of subsidising pensioners bus travel, as it means fewer of them driving. I'd be in favour of subsidising those of us of working age, for exactly the same reason.

I don't drive so have little choice but to use the bus and would be happy to receive a "subsidy" for doing so. Unfortunately, I always find myself in the section of society that isn't "entitled" and has to fund the subsidies paid to others.

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Pensioners bus passes are a scandal. And I have got one.

I used the bus the other day, of the 10 or so passengers, none paid, all have got cars and live in houses valued at £350-£600 thousand.

More socialism, passes started long ago in Wales because the Welsh Government (labour) wanted bribe the voting classes (pensioners).

In Plymouth, you now have the classic 'Socialism works fine until it runs out of other people money'

Instead of raising fares, why don't they restrict free passes? Most pensioners don't need them. I know pensioners who have used their winter fuel allowance to buy windsurfers.

In my case, I was only using the bus because my BMW Z4 was being serviced. I went to pay the driver, but seeing my age, instead of taking the money, he assumed I had forgotten my pass and was told to sit down.

Edited by Byron

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That's the essence of it all, politicians bribe sections of the electorate with other people's money, make a song and dance about it, such that it is near impossible for it to be removed. Rinse, repeat. Whilst there are genuinely poor pensioners who need help, as has been said many pensioners are a lot better off than the poor, young whippersnappers who have to subsidise them. Buses are unbelievably expensive now.

You could say the same about tax credits and their ubiquity.

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You should try parts of the south coast on a sunny summer day. You can not get on key bus routes as the busses are full as so many people with free passes are having a day out. If you give something out free, it's users have no idea of the true cost of the item so it maybe a good idea for TV licences were you can have as many TVs as you want receiving the TV signal as long as everyone is happy with less being spent on programs, but it does not work well for a limited resource such as bus seats where you just run out of seats in the end.

The ultimate example of this is now London where it is reported that only 40% of all trips on the bus/tube/rail/tram network are full fare all the rest are reduced fare for one group or another or free. The problem is that you can justify why each group of people should have some form of reduction, but by the time you have finished there is no one left to pay for the service.

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I don't understand why they can't give out the free bus passes based upon receipt of an qualifying benefit such as pension credit etc.

But then it can be argued that the low state pension takes into account things like free bus passes etc.

If you got rid of free bus passes, the prices would never go down would they?

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If you got rid of free bus passes, the prices would never go down would they?

I think that is the rub. Not only would prices not go down but I suspect that a lot of routes would simply be axed as uneconomic since many of the travellers would simply swap back to their cars

Pensioner concessionary passes are in reality a hidden subsidy to the bus industry.

If you remove them you wont get lower fares just fewer buses.

In fact recent funding changes mean this is already starting to happen.

Edited by stormymonday_2011

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I used to be one to use the trains, often as well, every half hour from a local station.

But the fact that the fare have doubled since the start of my working life and my wages have gone down over the last 10years I used then very rarely.

£11.40 to go 20mins and 2 stops last night. Very few people on the trains/platforms as well.

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If you got rid of free bus passes, the prices would never go down would they?

No but the government would have to find about £1B less of other cuts or taxes as it tries to meet it's 'aim' of getting things under control.

Many of the great ideas/give aways of the boom times are now issues that have to be addressed in someway and that can only mean cuts or taxes, as borrowing does not seem to be an answer.

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I don't quite understand how bus companies work?

They run buses on profitable routes because they make money.

They run buses on non-profitable routes because the government gives them money.

Strikes me as would be better for the country if buses were nationalised.

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I don't quite understand how bus companies work?

They run buses on profitable routes because they make money.

They run buses on non-profitable routes because the government gives them money.

Strikes me as would be better for the country if buses were nationalised.

Private companies making money from profitable stuff and privater companies being funded by taxpayers for loss making stuff. Surely not.

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My mother gets free bus travel and again doesn't need it.

the whole system of subsidies is quite unfair.

I don't blame the politicians. Old people vote and young people don't so much. Don't like any of the main parties? Spoil your ballot or vote for an independent. If you can't be bothered to go to a polling station you can't complain when politicians ignore you...

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except for the fact that public secrtor unions would ruin it for everyone,I'd agree with you.

Ok that is a flaw in the plan!

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Why doesn't the Government just print money and give everyone, everything free?

Then no one would be poor.

Can't understand why no one has tried this before.

perhaps I am just an undiscovered genius.

:blink:

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Why doesn't the Government just print money and give everyone, everything free?

Then no one would be poor.

Can't understand why no one has tried this before.

perhaps I am just an undiscovered genius.

Actually your plan works. For about 2 weeks.

Which is about the same as the memory span of the average voter.

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I don't blame the politicians. Old people vote and young people don't so much. Don't like any of the main parties? Spoil your ballot or vote for an independent. If you can't be bothered to go to a polling station you can't complain when politicians ignore you...

This for me is a very interesting comment. Democracy is not about going out and voting for whichever party will give you the most and by extension take the most from everyone else. Vote for the party that you believe has the policies that will be best for the country in the long term.

There will always be some demographic group who hold sway. If that group also believes the point of voting is to vote in your own interest (the boomers) then we will get a situation where people vote for early retirement, massive pensions and subsidies for older people right before they retire which will screw the country.

If it sounds crazy to vote for the good of all then this is not a mindset I recognise.

ps went to York park and ride today. I paid £2.50 for a day ticket, pensioners pay £1.20. Why are pensioners who can by definition afford a car getting subsidised?

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ps went to York park and ride today. I paid £2.50 for a day ticket, pensioners pay £1.20. Why are pensioners who can by definition afford a car getting subsidised?

Same reason as nationally: they turn out to vote in council elections. At the last one I showed up to vote at the Methodist church opposite the Burton Stone pub at about 6.55am (i.e. just before it opened, to vote before going to work), and joined the back of the queue of about 20 people. I was the only one under 70.

Rising transport costs for the working, taxpaying population are yet another reason why so many working taxpayers with marketable skills are emigrating in significant numbers.

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Why doesn't the Government just print money and give everyone, everything free?

Then no one would be poor.

Can't understand why no one has tried this before.

perhaps I am just an undiscovered genius.

:blink:

The Government does print lots of money, billions in fact, but instead of giving it to everyone they give it to their friends in the banks. This is why bankers are not poor. The money is supposed to trickle down from the bankers and help everyone but for some reason this does not happen.

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This for me is a very interesting comment. Democracy is not about going out and voting for whichever party will give you the most and by extension take the most from everyone else. Vote for the party that you believe has the policies that will be best for the country in the long term.

There will always be some demographic group who hold sway. If that group also believes the point of voting is to vote in your own interest (the boomers) then we will get a situation where people vote for early retirement, massive pensions and subsidies for older people right before they retire which will screw the country.

If it sounds crazy to vote for the good of all then this is not a mindset I recognise.

ps went to York park and ride today. I paid £2.50 for a day ticket, pensioners pay £1.20. Why are pensioners who can by definition afford a car getting subsidised?

Of course only people between the age of 50 and 65 vote in their own interests. :angry: Your comments are tosh.

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Of course only people between the age of 50 and 65 vote in their own interests. :angry: Your comments are tosh.

I didn't quite say that no other age group votes in it's own interest. I am saying that if a group who hold sway do so in a destructive, unsustainable way then you get a mess. We are now in that mess.

I don't believe this is the way people should view democracy. It's a very selfish way to view it. Everyone is complaining "we are not all in this together" yet they vote in this fashion?

I also think that if you see the world in this way then you are very surprised if someone has a more holistic perspective.

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I didn't quite say that no other age group votes in it's own interest. I am saying that if a group who hold sway do so in a destructive, unsustainable way then you get a mess. We are now in that mess.

I don't believe this is the way people should view democracy. It's a very selfish way to view it. Everyone is complaining "we are not all in this together" yet they vote in this fashion?

I also think that if you see the world in this way then you are very surprised if someone has a more holistic perspective.

Essentially the self interest you describe became the norm post 1979. Many of my age group were horrified at what happened in the 1980's and after. We grew up in the 1960's where self interest at the expense of the greater good was seen as not something to be proud of. To suggest that it was my generation that gave rise to the selfishness of post 1979 Britain just does not stand up. We were not the majority then, we are not the majority now. To blame a twenty something in 1979 for Thatchers legacy is as dumb as blaming a twenty something in 2005 for Blair and Brown and the trebling of house prices

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Essentially the self interest you describe became the norm post 1979. Many of my age group were horrified at what happened in the 1980's and after. We grew up in the 1960's where self interest at the expense of the greater good was seen as not something to be proud of. To suggest that it was my generation that gave rise to the selfishness of post 1979 Britain just does not stand up. We were not the majority then, we are not the majority now. To blame a twenty something in 1979 for Thatchers legacy is as dumb as blaming a twenty something in 2005 for Blair and Brown and the trebling of house prices

Firstly, I take your point and well made. Wherever it started where we are now, where people seem to think that voting in your own self interest is correct, is bound to cause problems.

It's just anecdotal but most people I speak to your age just don't seem to care about getting free travel when they are very well off. The Freedom Pass for London is particularly shocking. No wonder we are in debt! Didn't realise that when I give my seat up on the tube to some old dear they are in fact already riding on my back.

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Essentially the self interest you describe became the norm post 1979. Many of my age group were horrified at what happened in the 1980's and after. We grew up in the 1960's where self interest at the expense of the greater good was seen as not something to be proud of. To suggest that it was my generation that gave rise to the selfishness of post 1979 Britain just does not stand up. We were not the majority then, we are not the majority now. To blame a twenty something in 1979 for Thatchers legacy is as dumb as blaming a twenty something in 2005 for Blair and Brown and the trebling of house prices

I was shocked by the change in attitudes in the 1980s where greed and self-interest seemed became the predominant more. Sadly. it has just got worse with successive decades and governments. The insanity of house prices being the obvious example, bugger the upcoming generation.

Reset, new values and a new set of politicians needed.

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