02 April 2008

Poor argument


A city pensioner and campaigner has criticised a new Government bus pass scheme


Well, that headline didn't surprise me at all. Lots of people have been critical of the new scheme - me included. However once I got into the article it was clear her arguments were different to most people I have heard:

"The stops are either too far away from their homes or they're up hills. The elderly and disabled find it too difficult to get to bus stops. We need more, better-placed stops and will continue discussions with the operators."

Now its hard not to have some sympathy with her general comments here as I know for some people there is a bit of a walk to the bus stops and Plymouth is not known for being very flat. But none of this really has any relevance to the bus pass issue quite apart from the fact that its not the operators who decide where the bus stops go.

She states that because of this the free pass will not get used much in the city:

"Most people don't even bother with buses because, put simply, they can't get to the stops."

Well she only has to go out and catch any bus in the city after 09:30 and she will realise just how wide off the mark she is with this one. I caught a bus into town this lunchtime. The bus was carrying a good load - over half full, with only a few of us actually paying our fares. well over two thirds of the passengers were pensioners.

I know from working at the hospital that there is often a difference in what was said and what gets reported as being said so I hope that this lady has just been poorly quoted. Elsewhere in the country local campaigners have been a lot more on the ball with criticisms of the scheme.


  1. Just passing by. I found your blog on blogbookmark.com and continue to be impressed by your devotion to your subject. Your blog epitomises for me just what the internet is all about. Allowing ordinary people to speak on important matters in their own local community. Will be back for more.

  2. Thanks for the very kind comments Rob.

    All the best


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