Friday, 14 December 2018
21 April 2015

Labour's Bus Cuts hurting vulnerable residents

Elderly and Disabled peoples lives are disrupted

Whatever reasons are given, this is unacceptable and will cause much harm and disruption, saving nothing in reality, as pensioners still need to make journeys.

It is confusing: I believe we can travel from Windsor or Maidenhead to Slough before 9.30, but not the opposite. Slough Borough Council ('SBC') say it is to be in line with other council areas, but many are not so restricted. Even if they were, it does not make it right.

Someone commented that buses were so full of pensioners before 9.30 that others could not get on. I have never seen that. Generally, it is schoolchildren, middle-aged, and I imagine mostly working people and mums with push-chairs.

The wider issue of Bus Passes and Winter Fuel Allowance ('WFA') is also of major concern. If we can get a hold on the energy companies not to exploit us constantly, we may not need WFA.

Maybe, if we only needed to pay what SBC pays the bus companies, or some minimal fare, using some kind of universal travel card, many middle income pensioners may not need a bus pass in the first place.

I have a little sympathy with the thought that those earning above the higher rate tax band my not need bus passes, WFA, etc, but what if government started saying that they would not need State pensions either? Thin ends of wedges is a dangerous slope.

Most pensioners are not in a position to keep up with astronomical increases in many prices - often up to 25% - whatever some spurious think tank spouts about zero inflation.

Where were those endless 'think-tanks', quangos and statisticians, when we were supposed to be heading for financial doom?

This may cause more harm and expense than it is alleged to save - not to mention endless confusion - as if there isn't enough of that already in our 'three bus-station' environment, with little or no co-ordination between them, and having to scramble to make connections. We just don't need this.

NHS and other appointment times are already overloaded, so this may cause untold chaos.

How much do SBC actually pay bus companies for these journeys?

What figure do they claim will be saved?

The bus pass is not a luxury to most, it is a necessity.

Many, if not most, pensioners are supporting our young if we have any savings, so will not be lectured to that we're usurping what should go to them. My late wife and I committed the crime of saving relentlessly for that purpose - no expensive holidays, big houses or cars.

Pensioners did not cause the so-called 'crisis' - about which I am deeply suspicious. Those who did are no doubt basking on their yachts and private islands.

If you agree with me, please make your thoughts known - many say: well, what can you do?... but the truth is that there is a lot we can do - if we really want to.

Tony Osborne