Celebrating Ten Years of Free Bus Pass

26 Mar 2018

Published in: Member News

Trevor Eames driver allocator Rizwan Rashid Richard Worrall and Andrea StantonWest Midlands pensioners are celebrating ten years of free bus passes for senior citizens in England.

To mark the decade since it was introduced, members of the West Midlands National Pensioners' Convention are travelling to London by bus, leaving Walsall on Tuesday 27 March 2018. After travelling via Birmingham, Stratford, Banbury, Oxford and High Wycombe, they will catch the bus into central London to deliver enormous birthday cards to 10 Downing Street at 1500 on Wednesday 28 March. They will be joined there by delegates and supporters from other parts of England, and by English MPs and peers.

Walsall transport campaigner Richard Worrall of the National Pensioners' Convention Transport Group, said: "The national bus pass is a lifeline for millions of older and disabled citizens.

"Since its introduction ten years ago, the bus pass has been of huge benefit not only to older people, but to wider society as well.

"Every year, older people contribute over £10 billion in time and skill through volunteering in their local communities, and the bus pass enables them to carry on helping others.

"Not only that, but pensioners use the bus to visit local shops and support the local economy. And catching the bus helps cut congestion and pollution. Here's to its next ten years!"

Managing Director of bus operator National Express West Midlands, Tom Stables, said: "National Express West Midlands buses are for everyone.

"We know senior citizens greatly value the freedom and independence their bus pass gives them.

"So in January this year, we introduced a £1 single bus fare for senior citizens before their OAP free bus pass becomes valid at 0930. Don't forget too, that with a bus pass, you can take kids - or grandkids - for a quid on our buses. And you can take an adult with you for £2 during weekends and bank holidays.

"We have also joined up with local businesses on some exclusive offers for senior pass holders, like a free hot cup of tea at The Light Cinema in Walsall."

Since it was introduced on 1 April 2008, the free bus pass has benefited senior citizens and the wider society.

Staying active and independent can help combat the growing problem of loneliness among older people.

Pensioners are much more likely to take a short bus ride into town than to do their shopping at an out-of-town retail park.

And taking the bus also helps to cut down on congestion and pollution.

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