Fury at discriminatory’ free bus travel
A NEW free bus travel scheme discriminated against people living close to the borders of Huntingdonshire, Liberal Democrat councillors have complained. The new scheme, giving pensioners and some disabled people free off-peak travel from April 1, with flat
A NEW free bus travel scheme discriminated against people living close to the borders of Huntingdonshire, Liberal Democrat councillors have complained.
The new scheme, giving pensioners and some disabled people free off-peak travel from April 1, with flat fares to destinations elsewhere in Cambridgeshire, replaced a half-fare arrangement for any journey starting or finishing in the county.
It meant that people living in Elton or Stibbington could travel to Peterborough for half-price, as could St Neots pensioners shopping in Bedford.
Now they must pay the full fare beyond the district boundary since Whitehall insisted on the narrower free-pass scheme available only within the district.
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Lib Dem leader, Councillor Peter Downes, said it was an "unsatisfactory, discriminatory, half-cocked scheme", which would do nothing to increase use of buses.
The Tories agreed. Councillor Nick Guyatt, who is about to qualify for free travel but who lives in Stibbington, where there are few buses within Huntingdonshire, described it as "an absolute shambles of a national policy", which would add to HDC's overall costs".
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HDC wanted to extend the free travel arrangement throughout Cambridgeshire, but could not get agreement from other cash-strapped district councils to fund it.