02 January 2008

free travel

In my post yesterday I mentioned that the impending nationwide free fares for pensioners is going to be a major theme this year. I therefore wasnt suprised to see this news report today from one of our neighbouring local authorities:

Local taxpayers in the South Hams are likely to have to pick up a large bill when free bus travel goes nationwide on April 1. The concessionary bus fare scheme will allow those over 60 or with disabilities to travel free on local bus services anywhere in the country. South Hams District Council is getting an extra £403,000 in grant to pay for the service. However, the council says the additional money still may not be enough to meet the actual cost of the scheme, leaving local taxpayers to pick up the rest of the bill

"Who knows how many people from across the country will use the scheme when visiting the South Hams?

This last question is perhaps the most difficult to answer for most councils - especially in large tourist hotspots like South Hams, Cornwall and Torbay. Quite how they plan for something like this is beyond me!

I have been monitoring this for a while now and over the past month i have been building up the picture across England. I am plotting all the news stories I come across on a map so I can see just how widespread this issue is. Certainly I am getting at least one new story a day now of yet another local authority complaining - or a bus company complaining.

The map is shown below - click the blue text bottom left to go to the larger map page and click the blue / red markers to read the stories I have found so far. As most news events are based on local authorities and bus companies the markers themselves are meant as rough guide to the location rather than as an exact street location!


View Larger Map

No comments:

Post a Comment

Have something interesting to say? Please share it here!

(Moderation is currently switched on so please allow a short while before your comment appears on the site. This is only to cut down on spam - not to cut out people who disagree with me!)