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Bus passes

(123 Posts)
granbabies123 Sun 13-Jun-21 13:59:05

Hi I'm sure this will have been asked before but I haven't seen it and need an answer.
I'm 64 this year so was one of those who missed their pension at 60 but what I'm most annoyed at is not getting my bus pass. I do not drive.
I understand Wales and Scotland (still not fair) getting it at 60 with different rules but my question is I live in England ,London is in England so why have they got free transport at 60 but not the rest of us. Very unjust. Can anyone explain.

Callistemon Tue 22-Jun-21 15:28:31

I'm keeping quiet about the Welsh getting free prescriptions.
We even have English people breaching Offa's Dyke and coming over to get their prescriptions free in Wales.

JaneJudge Tue 22-Jun-21 15:30:10

and university education

I think they have it bloody right. It levels out health and education for everyone

Marydoll Tue 22-Jun-21 15:36:22

If I hadn't received free university education in Scotland, neither I, nor my husband would never have been able to go to university. We both came from disadvantaged backgrounds. It does make it a level playing field for all.

Alegrias1 Tue 22-Jun-21 15:40:26

They were talking about university fees on Jeremy Vine today. We're like you Marydoll.

DH and I agreed that if we had had to take on a debt of £40k or something, neither of us would have gone to University. We're both from "working class" backgrounds and that amount of debt would have been unconscionable. "Free" University tuition in Scotland is something I'm particularly proud of.

Marydoll Tue 22-Jun-21 15:54:40

I am on twenty one different medications, including one which costs £1000 month. I am am so fortunate to live in Scotland and receive free prescriptions.
DH, who is never ill says I've used up his share too .?
Also as I live in the Glasgow area, I get subsidised rail and underground travel.

SueDonim Tue 22-Jun-21 16:25:57

The trouble with free university in Scotland is that there’s a cap on the number of places for Scottish students and young people from areas of deprivation haven’t benefited because although they have the qualifications, they’re not awarded a place. There’s still a vast attainment gap, unfortunately.

It’s also having an effect on Scottish universities themselves. They are deprived of funding and finding it increasingly hard to make ends meet. My son is a research-focused academic in London and says his colleagues don’t even consider Scotland now when looking to go forward with projects because of the difficulty with funding.

As for bus passes, I’ve got a near four-mile walk to the nearest bus stop so I don’t use buses!

Alegrias1 Tue 22-Jun-21 16:35:17

A post that starts with the line "The trouble with free university..." is going to get my attention smile.

The way the universities have to operate is because they need to generate funds to support themselves and that requires them to charge certain groups, and have quotas. The answer is to reduce the number of universities and offer people alternatives such as Tech Colleges, FE Colleges and apprenticeships. I know that's heresy but its what I think we have to do.

Not sure about the difficulties in funding between the English and Scottish Unis but in my day ( wink) Universities were awarded research funding based on the attractiveness of their research proposals and the experience of the lead researchers. That's how it should be but I'm not saying its operating that way now.

If there are unintended consequences, we need to deal with them. Free uni education is a basic tenet of what makes us a civilised country. No way should it be given up.

Blossoming Tue 22-Jun-21 17:31:45

It’s disgusting that tuition fees were introduced, I’m glad Scotland had more sense!

Marydoll Tue 22-Jun-21 17:39:27

SueDonim many of my friends drive that distance, leave their cars , jump on the bus and go down the Clyde Coast. All for a 50p booking fee. A bargain!
We have to travel back from Edinburgh on Sunday, but there are no trains! It's the Megabus for us, cost us again, 50p each.
One can travel all over Scotland for free. It's a great initiative, intended to get older people out and about, instead of sitting at home, watching TV.

SueDonim Tue 22-Jun-21 17:44:26

I agree that the entire topic of fees needs to be looked at again. Scotland did have fees at one time - two of my dc had to pay them. Now, thousands of well-qualified Scots are denied places that are going to RUK and overseas students. A Scottish applicant last year had a 55% chance of being accepted, an EU student 65% while an English one has a 74% chance. That’s very unfair.

The research aspect is an worrying issue because Scottish universities are less able to attract the top researchers. There’s no way my son, who is highly regarded in his field, could progress in Scotland. That’s such a shame because he started his academic career in Scotland in what was a groundbreaking field at the time and it’s all been lost to this part of the UK.

SueDonim Tue 22-Jun-21 17:50:18

Marydoll I can only go to Aberdeen on the bus and is so longwinded. It’s 20 miles and it’s a whole hour. That’s if the bus is even running. The number of times I’ve had to drive to rescue one of my dds because the bus hasn’t turned is beyond counting. There’s nothing much in Aberdeen anyway, now we’ve lost all the department stores. sad

I like driving so it doesn’t bother me, tbh.

Alegrias1 Tue 22-Jun-21 17:55:12

Really surprised to read that there were fees in Scotland Sue I was a student in the 70s and associated with Universities until the late eighties, DH was a prof. I can't recall there ever being fees for Scottish students.

I'm sad about the Aberdeen John Lewis. sad

SueDonim Tue 22-Jun-21 18:08:33

Fees were introduced in Scotland at the same time as they were in the rest of the UK. After 2000 they became an endowment paid by the govt but still had to be paid back if you earned over a certain amount. Then fees were abolished in ?2007. I think it took my son nine years to pay off his debts.

Scroll down to post-devolution here and it has the details.

JaneJudge Tue 22-Jun-21 18:16:57

so if a student in Scotland can't get a place a Scottish university do they have to apply for funding through student finance to attend an English/Welsh or overseas one?

growstuff Tue 22-Jun-21 18:23:37

I agree with SueDonim. Scottish universities rely on fees from English and overseas students, for whom entry is easier. Meanwhile, many able young Scots have to apply for places in other parts of the UK because free places in Scotland for Scots are capped.

Marydoll Tue 22-Jun-21 18:25:26

That's a pity about the transport in your area, Sue I'm aware we are very fortunate (and spoiled).

Grandmajean Tue 22-Jun-21 18:45:28

I'm another who would not have had the excellent education that I did if fees had had to be paid in Scotland. We were a working class , very poor family and my parents could not have afforded any fees. My secondary school was famous for an outstanding free education - David Livingstone was a pupil there ! ( not in my time I hasten to add )
My husband had a free university education in England at one of the best ! He , too , came from a hardworking , poor family . These were the mid 1960s and I am so grateful.

SueDonim Tue 22-Jun-21 19:01:04

Yes, Janejudge, or they have to reapply in the following years when they’re up against another cohort of applicants.

Grandmajean the difference between the 60’s and today is that back then about 5% of young people went to university. Now, it’s approx 50%.

Alegrias1 Tue 22-Jun-21 19:19:49

I'd completely forgotten about that SueDonim, thanks for posting the info.

Grandmajean Tue 22-Jun-21 19:36:46


Yes, Janejudge, or they have to reapply in the following years when they’re up against another cohort of applicants.

Grandmajean the difference between the 60’s and today is that back then about 5% of young people went to university. Now, it’s approx 50%.

You are absolutely right, SueDonim I am just grateful that the best was available free when I needed it. I was lucky.

JaneJudge Wed 23-Jun-21 07:33:12

Thank you for explaining

Chakotay Sun 27-Jun-21 00:45:38


I'm surprised we get prescriptions free from 60, when most of us have to pay NI until we are at least 66.

Its easy enough to explain, when women reached pension age at 60, in line with equality laws men got certain concessions once they reached the same age as a woman who reached pension age were able to have, that included being able to claim pension credit, bus passes and free prescriptions, PC laws have changed so that you have to be pension age to get it for both men and women, the same with bus passes, but the free prescription age has not changed so is still 60