28 March 2019
This April marks ten years since the introduction of the Concessionary Bus Pass. This scheme has been a massive success, opening up the bus network to many, and providing a lifeline for many elderly or disabled passengers across the County.
Over the past few years, the benefits of this scheme have been offset by the gradual removal of support across much of Northamptonshire’s rural network, resulting in the complete removal of bus subsidies as the County Council tried to come to terms with it’s glaring budget issues last year.
This led to the removal of routes across the network last year, meaning that residents of some of our most remote villages no longer had an easy way to travel across the County, increasing the risk of isolation.
On this tenth anniversary, the Midland TUC Pensioner’s Network is calling for increased support for bus travel, and the Northamptonshire Green Party will be highlighting this with a protest near North Gate Bus Station on March 28th.
Denise Donaldson, the Green Party’s Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for South Northamptonshire said “When budgets are cut, Councils have to try and make sure that they don’t impact the most vulnerable in society and it’s obvious that cutting bus routes is going to affect those people that rely on the bus.”
“We’re supporting this campaign to draw attention to the continuing bus funding crisis in our county. Over the next year, as our councils move towards their new Unitary arrangements, we will ensure that they don’t forget the obligation they have to support bus services, and to make sure that residents in villages across Northamptonshire don’t feel completely cut off.”