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Suffolk cuts free bus pass benefits

News of another cut by Suffolk Council Council arrives in today’s post. The letter tells me that the county is taking over responsibility for the free travel bus pass scheme from the district council and that from April 1 I will not be able to travel free on buses before 9.30am.

Also free travel on park and ride buses in Ipswich will be stopped. I guess I can go shopping in Norwich or Cambridge, unless they are making the same cut.

One small concession is that if a village does not have a bus to any destination (never mind where you want to go) between 9.30 and and 11.59am, free travel before 9.30 will be allowed.  SCC webpage on changes.

We are still waiting to hear about plans to slash rural bus subsidies in the county, but if rumours are true, the bus pass could become pretty worthless anyway. Any news on these plans would be welcome.

At the bottom of the letter there is this line: “We are working towards making Suffolk the Greenest County.” D’oh!

PS: Checked the minutes of the meeting which approved the changes. In part it says (my emphasis):

Reasons for Decision:
(a)The Cabinet agreed that County Councils were considered better to manage concessionary travel schemes as opposed to District Councils.
(b)The proposals benefited everyone, including the bus operators.

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  1. Jo says

    I just got turned away from a 9:26 bus. I counted the number of people on this ‘peak time’ bus – there were 8. I wouldn’t exactly be robbing a seat from a paying customer.

    I’m long-term unemployed with mental health issues, I’m doing voluntary work with the intention of eventually getting paid employment. This change clearly doesn’t benefit everyone, in fact I struggle to see how it benefits anyone other than the cost-cutters at the council.

  2. OlPeculier says

    Well, as somebody that has on occasion had to travel on busses where I’ve been the only fare paying passenger, I’m quite glad for this.