At time when the government is trying to cut back, this looks like an easy target for them, especially when they point out that young people could do with free travel to get to work. I've heard the argument that an increasing number of older people are working, but this doesn't mean they can afford to pay for travel, it means they cant afford to give up work . OK, sometimes this is because people aren't saving enough for retirement, but pension funds have been kicked in the teeth over the years and so many plans for a comfortable retirement have been blown away. Also, interest rates on savings are way below inflation. Pensioners need to stand up against this attempt to reduce their income and freedom.
I am extremely lucky in not needing to use my bus pass other than very infrequently. Because I don't there is almost no cost to the government. Having used the bus last week for the first time in over six months (car in for MOT) I cant imagine why anyone would choose to use the bus unless it is a financial necessity. Perhaps I was unlucky in standing in the pouring rain & biting wind ( what happened to shelters) for a bus which didn't come on time and was driven by someone who had recently had a charisma bypass. I do find the bus pass handy for proving age, when I don't want to carry a driving licence. The bus I used was full of older people who greeted each other cheerfully and were obviously looking forward to a change of scenery - that alone must save the NHS a fortune in preventing depression and associated general decline. Because its more difficult to evaluate or explain, we ignore the importance of avoiding care costs by keeping people happy, healthy and independent as long as possible and free travel is just one aspect