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Frank Hovis

Free Oap Bus Passes Killing Rural Transport?

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It's been going this way for some time now. Buses for paying passengers are in my opinion extortionate now, nearly as bad as trains. The last time I took one, for a single stop of about three miles, was about £4 when I was expecting a £1. We took it as we were shattered after a long walk and had planned this as part of it but that the was absolute last time.

So the result of this is that the proportion of paying passengers falls, the council won't up the subsidy out of their own pocket, and the bus company can only recover their money by further increasing the prices for the remaining paying passengers who become even less and the service ends up being withdrawn.

The root cause is that central government funding for the scheme has been reduced so councils have less money to pass on so the bus operators get less money.

So where do we see this going?

More money from central government - no

More money from councils - no

Bus operators keep on loss-making routes out of the goodness of their hearts - no

Continued above-inflation in bus fares - yes

More routes lost and people in smaller towns without cars totally stuffed - yes

And, the killer....

No more free bus pass at 62. The age will go up in the same way that the pension age has gone up, and it will become a reduction rather than a free one.

So yet another benefit to look forward to gets further away and worse. Great.

The Local Government Association (LGA) says support for the concessionary fares scheme has been reduced by over a third since 2010.

Under the scheme, councils have to provide free off-peak travel for those aged over 62 or disabled.

The government says it provides funding to meet subsidised travel costs.

Local authorities say the funding from central government for concessionary fares has been cut by £261m since the coalition came to power.

Now councils say they are forced to subsidise the scheme, often by cutting back on other local transport services.

It is a particular problem for county councils trying to provide relatively expensive rural bus routes and school transport.

'Undeliverable'

Some authorities are now stripping back rural bus timetables, or cancelling free travel for elderly and disabled passengers during peak hours.

Free home-to-school transport is also under threat in several areas.

Don't you just love those weasel words from the government.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-26385176

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They aren't quite as bad as that where I live. £2.60 gets you a return journey of around 8 miles - but I think shorter return journeys are the same price too. The fixed fares are good if you max out the distance but rubbish if you just need a couple of stops. Compared to taking the taxi one way - £15 for a 15 minute journey- it isn't too bad.

And believe it, or not, the bus is cheaper than when we lived in the city.

Recently got an electric bike for the missus as she is a regular bus user and £2.60 a trip does add up. Almost no effort required if you don't want it - you only have to be able to balance and turn the pedals. It should pay for itself within a year as the electric is pennies a charge (and usually coming from the solar panels anyhow). Plus she gets a bit of exercise on the flat when she turns the motor off.

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Our excellent bus service was so profitable that since last year we've had some cut-throat competition on a range of routes, and a price war that's brought the cost right down.

The OAPs are indeed a high proportion of passengers during the day, though less so on evening services. This is absolutely a Good Thing: far better they should be on the bus than clogging up roads and parking.

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Our excellent bus service was so profitable that since last year we've had some cut-throat competition on a range of routes, and a price war that's brought the cost right down.

The OAPs are indeed a high proportion of passengers during the day, though less so on evening services. This is absolutely a Good Thing: far better they should be on the bus than clogging up roads and parking.

All for getting more people to use the buses......in rural areas they are great to get people to the shops, days out, this is good for the local community, both for the people and local business...... But there are not enough of them to get people to and from work, cars are essential in many areas. ;)

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Marginal cost of each additional passenger must be close to £0.

Should be free at point of use for everyone. Thats obvious.

For regular users running a car will be far cheaper & more convenient.

We dont understand the value of community assets in UK - still not recovered from 80s nonsense.

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They aren't quite as bad as that where I live. £2.60 gets you a return journey of around 8 miles - but I think shorter return journeys are the same price too. The fixed fares are good if you max out the distance but rubbish if you just need a couple of stops. Compared to taking the taxi one way - £15 for a 15 minute journey- it isn't too bad.

And believe it, or not, the bus is cheaper than when we lived in the city.

Recently got an electric bike for the missus as she is a regular bus user and £2.60 a trip does add up. Almost no effort required if you don't want it - you only have to be able to balance and turn the pedals. It should pay for itself within a year as the electric is pennies a charge (and usually coming from the solar panels anyhow). Plus she gets a bit of exercise on the flat when she turns the motor off.

It's £5.00 return for me from the outskirts of Nottingham to town, a distance of a mere five miles...which is why I always walk and leave the bus for those on benefits and OAPs who get it free. Not caught the bus all year.

The bus company do not need fee payers, they get their money from the bus pass and those that work can bloody well walk.

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It's £5.00 return for me from the outskirts of Nottingham to town, a distance of a mere five miles...which is why I always walk and leave the bus for those on benefits and OAPs who get it free. Not caught the bus all year.

The bus company do not need fee payers, they get their money from the bus pass and those that work can bloody well walk.

I often walk....but unable to shop only window shop, couldn't carry it home, good exercise and fresh air though. ;)

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Our excellent bus service was so profitable that since last year we've had some cut-throat competition on a range of routes, and a price war that's brought the cost right down.

The OAPs are indeed a high proportion of passengers during the day, though less so on evening services. This is absolutely a Good Thing: far better they should be on the bus than clogging up roads and parking.

That's got to be really unusual outside of cities. I know Plymouth's buses do very well but the rural ones are certainly closing down. If I lived in a village and was dependent upon the bus I would be very nervous.

I often walk....but unable to shop only window shop, couldn't carry it home, good exercise and fresh air though. ;)

Get yourself a bike winkie.

bike%2B-%2Blarge%2Bload.jpg

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It's £5.00 return for me from the outskirts of Nottingham to town, a distance of a mere five miles...which is why I always walk and leave the bus for those on benefits and OAPs who get it free. Not caught the bus all year.

The bus company do not need fee payers, they get their money from the bus pass and those that work can bloody well walk.

What's wrong with getting a bike?

I got one as a student, 'cos I knew it was the only way to get between college and town several times a day, both based on what I could afford[1] and on the fact I had better things to do with my time than spend it either walking or waiting at a bus stop. For five miles it'll save you an hour or so!

[1] Bus fares? Once in a blue moon, maybe.

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Get yourself a bike winkie.

Can't rival that. But stuffing a weekly supermarket shop into panniers is no problem. I've also considered a trailer, but can't justify it: the times I'd use it are very rare, given that garden waste - the only bulky thing that comes in a constant stream - gets collected for free anyway.

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What's wrong with getting a bike?

I got one as a student, 'cos I knew it was the only way to get between college and town several times a day, both based on what I could afford[1] and on the fact I had better things to do with my time than spend it either walking or waiting at a bus stop. For five miles it'll save you an hour or so!

[1] Bus fares? Once in a blue moon, maybe.

I did own a bike, but it just doesn't appeal to me like walking. So I clock up around 60 miles a week on foot . I do have a car too and clock up 9000 miles a year, mainly business. But get withdrawal systems if I am not getting a few hours walking each day. I agree too slow and boring for most people, but not me.

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I did own a bike, but it just doesn't appeal to me like walking. So I clock up around 60 miles a week on foot . I do have a car too and clock up 9000 miles a year, mainly business. But get withdrawal systems if I am not getting a few hours walking each day. I agree too slow and boring for most people, but not me.

Wow :o

I do that on holiday and in the summer when there are long light evenings and a walk along the cliffs watching the sun set over the sea is unbeatable, but doing that year round is amazing. We are truly not worthy!

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Get yourself a bike winkie.

One with a small motor to get up the hill appeals........ Do you know we underestimate the power of the collective, a group of like minded people will change what is not working and get things done to their satisfaction..... I think there is a story about the Chedder bus to Bristol that was discontinued, the people with need organised their own private bus service £5 return, cheaper than the petrol and parking, lots of good company and views.....where there is a will there is a way, no fear. ;)

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But get withdrawal systems if I am not getting a few hours walking each day.

OK, that's a (rare) Good Reason for not cycling. Not applicable to those whose alternatives are car or bus.

To be honest, I do more walking myself these days, and for a trip into town (about 3 miles) I'll more often walk than cycle. Indeed, that's a strong reason for living in West Devon, and the problem I'd have with southeast England even if someone else were paying. The bike gets used for leisure, and for shopping when I'm returning with two or three times the weight of my holiday load of camping gear/etc.

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My local bus service into Hereford (approx 7 miles) is £5 return and runs at totally inconvenient times (and I would need to walk the mile to the bus stop)

You sound like one more who should get a bike.

Ideally a decent bike that'll be a pleasure to ride. Not some Halfords scrap that'll be a chore and sit unloved in the shed.

Public transport really needs to be cheaper than driving, especially given that much of motoring costs are artificially inflated by taxes.

Rail costs are inflated even more than that by the cost of safety. If you were to put the same price on road deaths as on rail deaths while keeping all else equal, your annual insurance would cost more than your car.

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By spooky coincidence, I have just found out that the twice daily bus service to our village is being ceased in two months' time.

Bloke I was talking to said that he's just got the benefits of a free bus pass...but now no bus. ;)

It's a real problem.

I know two people (not pensioners) who've had their driving licence temporarily suspended in the past year on medical grounds. If you live somewhere small with no bus and you can't drive then you are going to be paying out for a lot of taxis just to get to work. And if it's a low paying job you might not even be able to do that.

And if you're unemployed you still have to get to the job centre fortnightly, that taxi ride will be a chunk out of your week's £71.

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I do cycle for fun/fitness (there are some great lanes around here and hills) but if you were to regularly cycle the route to Hereford you would be dead in no time. It's not all two way, cars/lorries use it and they travel too quickly. Even if I cycled to the village to get the bus there's nowhere to lock the bike.

Besides, my point is that public transport is both expensive and useless, whereas running a car is cheap and convenient despite being taxed heavily.

Agree with all of that. I think if you're keen to cycle to work then it will shape your choices as to where you work and live.

Theoretically at my last job I could have cycled but like your road the A road that made up half the distance was fast and twisty, there were very few cyclists and it was averaging one killed every two years. It didn't enter my head to cycle the 20 miles, it wasn't the distance putting me off but the high statistical likelihood of being killed doing it.

I cycle and have been out today, roads of my choosing.

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It's a real problem.

I know two people (not pensioners) who've had their driving licence temporarily suspended in the past year on medical grounds. If you live somewhere small with no bus and you can't drive then you are going to be paying out for a lot of taxis just to get to work. And if it's a low paying job you might not even be able to do that.

And if you're unemployed you still have to get to the job centre fortnightly, that taxi ride will be a chunk out of your week's £71.

This a very real problem in areas where there are few irregular transport links, and the few that there are are very expensive unreliable and slow.....therefore in those circumstances people without work or transport should be allowed to sign on on-line.......no transport no job, no job no transport. ;)

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Public transport really needs to be cheaper than driving, especially given that much of motoring costs are artificially inflated by taxes.

Buses travel further, since you usually have to go somewhere you don't want to go in order to change to a bus that goes where you do want to go, they often run empty or nearly so, and they have to pay for a chauffer. How can they possibly be cheaper than the variable costs of driving the same distance?

And that's before you even take account of the lost productivity from the extra hour and a half you spend sitting on a bus, or waiting for it to arrive, each day.

The village I lived in used to have two buses a day, one in each direction. Needless to say, I had a car.

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Buses travel further, since you usually have to go somewhere you don't want to go in order to change to a bus that goes where you do want to go, they often run empty or nearly so, and they have to pay for a chauffer. How can they possibly be cheaper than the variable costs of driving the same distance?

And that's before you even take account of the lost productivity from the extra hour and a half you spend sitting on a bus, or waiting for it to arrive, each day.

The village I lived in used to have two buses a day, one in each direction. Needless to say, I had a car.

Not a problem, just sleep under your desk alternate nights. And alternate weekends.

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The runaway price increases of all forms of transport (bus, train, air and private car), much of them caused by taxation, are targeted almost exclusively at the working, working age population. Along with personal taxation, wage deflation and of course house price (and rent) inflation, it's yet another reason why so many taxpayers with marketable skills overseas are emigrating.

The bottom line: if you're eligible for some sort of discount rail pass as the result of being young, old, unemployed or disabled, the cost is reasonable. If you're unemployed or retired, and thus can take advantage of cheap, advanced-purchase travel, the cost is reasonable. If you're disabled or retired, you get free parking in city centres. But if you're not any of these things, you effectively have to pay a vast and disproportionate salary to those who are every time you travel.

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The bus service were I currently ive is OK - at least for my purposes.

You have to buy the all-inc tickets. My 3 months go everywhere pass costs me less than the price of petrol.

Im a big believer in PAID-FOR pulbic transport.

I am not a believer in FREE-VOTE_FOR_ME public transport.

However, the bus service in my home area of whitby/scarborough has been totally f-cked over by that cretin Brown's 'Vote for me' scam.

You get rich pensioners dricing to the area, parking their car up and bascailly joy riding on the bus up and down the coast.

There is no extra capacity, so service do not pick up the poor locals who cannot afford to run a car, whilst holydaing car-owners whizz by on a freeby.

Due to the funding (the council get paid at the starting point - normally West Yorkshire, or York), the local council (North Yorks) get f-all, the subbed services later in the day are being cut, reducing the service to jollies from rich pensioners from outside of the region.

For f-sake, some of these services are a 3 f-king hour trip. If an OAP can sit on one of these then they can pay for the f--cker.

After having the bus drive past her on multiple occasions, my mum has now agreed than Gordon is a useless, one eyed c-nt.

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£3+ for a return trip of about 4 miles total.

75p/mile, an absurd amount for a bus service. Predictably, used mostly by people on freebies from my limited experience. I was on crutches and one of the few people paying full whack. I just don't use it unless necessary, no trips this year so far.

I use the local trains a lot which are great value by comparison.

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Sounds like I'm getting a good bargain when I do 40 miles for 4 squids.

Though it was well over six squid and more limited before the competition and the price war started.

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The bus service were I currently ive is OK - at least for my purposes.

You have to buy the all-inc tickets. My 3 months go everywhere pass costs me less than the price of petrol.

Im a big believer in PAID-FOR pulbic transport.

I am not a believer in FREE-VOTE_FOR_ME public transport.

However, the bus service in my home area of whitby/scarborough has been totally f-cked over by that cretin Brown's 'Vote for me' scam.

You get rich pensioners dricing to the area, parking their car up and bascailly joy riding on the bus up and down the coast.

There is no extra capacity, so service do not pick up the poor locals who cannot afford to run a car, whilst holydaing car-owners whizz by on a freeby.

Due to the funding (the council get paid at the starting point - normally West Yorkshire, or York), the local council (North Yorks) get f-all, the subbed services later in the day are being cut, reducing the service to jollies from rich pensioners from outside of the region.

For f-sake, some of these services are a 3 f-king hour trip. If an OAP can sit on one of these then they can pay for the f--cker.

After having the bus drive past her on multiple occasions, my mum has now agreed than Gordon is a useless, one eyed c-nt.

The beauty of price controls. Overconsumption by the subsidised, no incentive for providers to increase capacity, shortages.

If pensioners want to ride the bus they should buy a ticket like everybody else.

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