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London 60+ Free Unlimited Transport To Stay, Younger People To See Fare Rises

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http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/mar/30/zac-goldsmith-promises-investment-in-londons-transport-if-elected-mayor

While younger Londoners will see fares rise, Goldsmith promised that he would keep the freedom pass, allowing over-60s to travel free

Looks like this won't be going anywhere anytime soon with all mayoral candidates saying it will stay.

I know London transport wasn't sold off so they can afford this, I wouldn't have issues with it apart from the fact students and unemployed people only get it half price / child prices and there is no requirement for anyone to have ever paid london taxes to get one.

With retirement age going up, seems silly to give all 60+ this perk.

Anecdotal, but I know a retired GP and his wife who have never worked and they have just bought somewhere near bingen hill for 680k. One of the main draws was the free transport, despite them never living in London before. If they live another 20 years each, that's 120k tax free in perks.

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I believe free travel for oldies should be available throughout the country, some widower alone in their home and unable to afford travel to the tea shop to have a chat with the blue-rinse brigade sounds like an awfully bad way to end their days.

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The base cost of the service i.e stations and trains running throughout the day will be there anyway. And this cost will increase overtime as everyone thinks they deserve more - its called inflation! I agree that older people should be able to use the service at a massively reduced cost but we should charge them something very basic to remove the economics of "free" i.e people don't realise the value of something when it is free, by charging just a small amount, you can cover administration costs and make them understand it is valuable. I would advocate a cost of £30 a year or something similar.

On the young people's side - you don't vote, and your not the largest part of society so given how politics works (which has nothing to do with giving to the neediest - that's charity) you won't be getting anything for a while.

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I believe free travel for oldies should be available throughout the country, some widower alone in their home and unable to afford travel to the tea shop to have a chat with the blue-rinse brigade sounds like an awfully bad way to end their days.

I dont.

Its an expensive resource.

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If we can afford to bomb countries in the Middle East without any clear reason or objective then we can afford to provide affordable public transport to the country's population, and to help older people to maintain their independence for longer by helping them with transport outside of their home.

It is amazing how much money there is for Trident, NHS reorganisation and Academies when we are being told how bankrupt the country is and how we need to accept austerity in vital services.

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So are schools, hospitals, and the Police Forces. As a libertarian I hope you can afford your own bodyguards, midwife and teachers.

Yep.

But you do not stay in school for long i.e. you do not keep going all your life.

We have a bus that travels from Leeds to the coast. Its is packed with no paying OAPs.

These are not going into town - the trip is ~4h.

They are not visiting friends, or going to the hospital.

They are joyriding.

Most have cars too.

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The free transport for the over 60's causes extra congestion on particularly the buses during the day. When I lived in North London and had to use the bus or some accessible tubes to get to work (and bear in mind the Freedom pass only starts 9.30ish in some areas) then there was a rush of well off older people to Oxford St to shop. They took up all the disabled seats and were well organised and quite hostile to any young disabled (like myself).

Would they go there every day or as frequent if they had to pay. Don't know. Would they shop locally instead of Oxford St?

It was an eye-opener for me. I could only travel at certain times and needed to use the bus for work.

We do need good, public transport for all in London. At the moment we don't have it. There are no real peak times any longer. It's a mess in central / north London every day.

Edited by Flopsy

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It was a choice of two - free or not free. You're just muddying the waters.

Come on - it is a fair point.

Perhaps the free transport should be aligned with the free-TV license age - 74?

The trouble with 60 is that it isn't that old... I was out to dinner the other night with a friend who has been retired 10 years now - he is late 60s (early retirement). He has just bought a brand new £40k car. He also takes delight in taking the bus into town a couple of times a week for fun. I, on the other hand, have to pay to get into town to work. I also have to pay for my children to have a bus to get to school.

So - pay to get to work to earn money to pay taxes. Pay to get to school, a mandated activity (practically) which should provide young adults who can pay taxes... But we're very happy to give wealthy healthy older people free rides to have a jolly in town?

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Yep.

But you do not stay in school for long i.e. you do not keep going all your life.

We have a bus that travels from Leeds to the coast. Its is packed with no paying OAPs.

These are not going into town - the trip is ~4h.

They are not visiting friends, or going to the hospital.

They are joyriding.

Most have cars too.

They would argue - with some justification - that they've paid taxes all of their lives and deserve a free bus ride once a week. If you're looking at those joyriding, wouldn't the pigs in the EU trough be more worthy? Or MPs who make claims a hair's breadth within the guidelines, or TV stars who illegally avoid tax, or football stars who are offshore limited companies?

We're ALL going to be pensioners at some point (unless we die first) so will all be entitled to a weekly bus ride, but won't be to being paid a fortune to kick a ball of air around a park.

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They would argue - with some justification - that they've paid taxes all of their lives and deserve a free bus ride once a week. If you're looking at those joyriding, wouldn't the pigs in the EU trough be more worthy? Or MPs who make claims a hair's breadth within the guidelines, or TV stars who illegally avoid tax, or football stars who are offshore limited companies?

We're ALL going to be pensioners at some point (unless we die first) so will all be entitled to a weekly bus ride, but won't be to being paid a fortune to kick a ball of air around a park.

The UK was running large deficits when my Mum + Dad were working - all 20 years of combined effort.

Their taxes did not pay for current spending , nether mind some made up future benefit.

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Come on - it is a fair point.

Perhaps the free transport should be aligned with the free-TV license age - 74?

The trouble with 60 is that it isn't that old... I was out to dinner the other night with a friend who has been retired 10 years now - he is late 60s (early retirement). He has just bought a brand new £40k car. He also takes delight in taking the bus into town a couple of times a week for fun. I, on the other hand, have to pay to get into town to work. I also have to pay for my children to have a bus to get to school.

So - pay to get to work to earn money to pay taxes. Pay to get to school, a mandated activity (practically) which should provide young adults who can pay taxes... But we're very happy to give wealthy healthy older people free rides to have a jolly in town?

That seems like a fair age for it.

Its a total no brainier to just give it only to people on pension credit imo.

No we won't all be pensioners. With a creping pension age and spending on pensioners already unaffordable (boomers taking out far more than they ever paid in). Most of today's young probably wont make it to the age the state defines as a pensioner, 80+?

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We're ALL going to be pensioners at some point (unless we die first) so will all be entitled to a weekly bus ride, but won't be to being paid a fortune to kick a ball of air around a park.

You really believe that all the pensioner freebies will be available for generation after generation?

It's all been engineered for the current generation of pensioners who are pulling up the ladder behind them.

Yes, we'll all become pensioners but definitely won't get all the freebies that the current pensioners have been given.

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The UK was running large deficits when my Mum + Dad were working - all 20 years of combined effort.

Their taxes did not pay for current spending , nether mind some made up future benefit.

Unfortunately we aren't allowed to decide on what our taxes are spent on, other than voting in/out a Party. They were told to pay an amount and they probably did (unless they're super rich and can afford brilliant accountants and homes in Monaco), hardly their fault if it wasn't enough.

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I voted no and sorry to go off topic but I'd be curious to know how much it costs to run London's transport infrastructure?

I'm a big believer in the cost of public transport being very low or in some cases maybe free, mainly to encourage people to get out of motor vehicles. And frankly I think government should look into and devise ways to incentivise citizens to use bicycles.

What impact do you think such a change could have on the London economy? Higher visitor numbers? More cyclists would certainly mean cleaner air and less noise. More people on the underground would mean quieter streets too. :)

Then in 10 years or so London will probably have a little network of driverless cars too. Wouldn't London be an amazing city if it had so few cars on the road but an affordable truly ingratiated, efficient public transport infrastructure.

Edited by spacedin

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You really believe that all the pensioner freebies will be available for generation after generation?

It's all been engineered for the current generation of pensioners who are pulling up the ladder behind them.

Yes, we'll all become pensioners but definitely won't get all the freebies that the current pensioners have been given.

Pure speculation and tea leaf reading. We don't want 70 million people having private transportation in the UK, it's that simple.

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Pure speculation and tea leaf reading. We don't want 70 million people having private transportation in the UK, it's that simple.

Pure speculation and tea leaf reading that all the freebies will be available for generation after generation.

Why not make bus transport free for all?

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Pure speculation and tea leaf reading that all the freebies will be available for generation after generation.

Why not make bus transport free for all?

Hardly pure speculation. Why were free bus journeys for pensioners brought in? To improve social inclusion, keep dangerous doddery old gits off the road, decrease pollution, make travel easier for those on a fixed income, decrease the need for petrol, and the Boomer bulge is retiring right now and many can afford cars and grew up with them, so would be driving probably into their 80s.

Decades of fewer old tossers in my way is great!

Free for all? I dunno, definitely kids. I suppose free for all those on a low/no wage would be good.

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The base cost of the service i.e stations and trains running throughout the day will be there anyway. And this cost will increase overtime as everyone thinks they deserve more - its called inflation! I agree that older people should be able to use the service at a massively reduced cost but we should charge them something very basic to remove the economics of "free" i.e people don't realise the value of something when it is free, by charging just a small amount, you can cover administration costs and make them understand it is valuable. I would advocate a cost of £30 a year or something similar.

On the young people's side - you don't vote, and your not the largest part of society so given how politics works (which has nothing to do with giving to the neediest - that's charity) you won't be getting anything for a while.

On that logic why not provide everyone with free travel - you could make a case that the marginal cost of any one person is zero.

Personally I would restrict the free pass only to people who have lived in London and paid council tax there for at least 5 years. It's quite wrong that someone can just move in at 60 having never lived in London and get free travel for the rest of their life!

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Christ, the hostility to old people by some posters on this forum is shameful.

Do they go around at night mugging old grannies and taking their pension?

If a city like London cannot organise and run an efficient, low priced transport service then something is wrong.

Given the cash they rake in and the Govt money pumped in, it should be equal or better to the other European capital cities.

In my experience it is not, and stopping pensioners having free travel seems to me to be attacking the wrong target.

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Christ, the hostility to old people by some posters on this forum is shameful.

Do they go around at night mugging old grannies and taking their pension?

If a city like London cannot organise and run an efficient, low priced transport service then something is wrong.

Given the cash they rake in and the Govt money pumped in, it should be equal or better to the other European capital cities.

In my experience it is not, and stopping pensioners having free travel seems to me to be attacking the wrong target.

We are talking here about 60 to 65 year olds who get an additional benefit in London via free travel which they don't get elsewhere. Not frail grannies in their 80s long since retired.

Many are still working and don't need the benefit. In my office we have two bosses on £100k plus owning £1m plus houses in their sixties getting free travel while our cleaners on minimum wage who can barely pay their rent have to pay fares rising massively year on year by inflation.

That to me doesn't seem fair - clearly you disagree. The ones being discriminated against are the poor and young.

Let the retired elderly over state retirement age keep it - not those under 66 who are still working.

Edited by MARTINX9

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