The Conservative manifesto confirms free bus passes, prescription,eye tests,tv licences for the duration of the next parliament. Quite relieved as should get bus pass next March and could just see that eluding me after waiting 4 1/2 years extra for my state pension!
Rather an old link, I'm afraid, but this article purports to show how the free bus pass system helps local economies. I'm one of the unlucky ones who won't get a pass till I'm 66, but I can see that this is true of my friends, and I would certainly be jaunting off more if I could get into town without it costing me a fiver each time.
I agree elegran - in the long run, not only pensioners but the NHS benefit (and hence everyone) from bus passes by improving the health and happiness of pensioners.
Some posters have said they don't care about the bus pass because they live in an area with few buses, but surely no social benefits are designed to help everyone, that's the point of a caring, sharing society - everyone chips in with benefits distributed across the population.
I have had my bus pass since I was 60 and have made good use of it,when I first got it it was restricted to a certain area but once I got my full pension 6 mths later it included all ares covered you had to catch the bus after 9.30am though. A lot of pensioners use the local buses to go to the markets and for train travel it gives the shops and department stores customers who wouldn't be able to shop and buy if they had to factor in the price of bus/train travel costs and also gives them the chance of socialising during the day.
Just about to say The same, Elegean. Good point , Maagiem. Have seen this in our town where the bus station has moved to a temporary home. The shops and the market stalls which were next to the old bus terminal are really suffering whilst the ones near the temporary bus station have seen a great rise in business. If the passes were abolished and less folk travelled on the buses, and there were less buses, it would certainly have an effect on town centres.
Listening to those elderly this morning whose buses were going to be cut because of austerity, one of the biggest issues was loneliness, well that and how on earth can they do their shopping etc. One poor soul hadn't a relative in the world except her daughter in America.