Elderly and disabled ‘could lose bus services’

5 Mar

Benefit tales

Elderly and disabled passengers could lose vital bus services because of cuts in government funding, councils in England warn.

The Local Government Association (LGA) says support for the concessionary fares scheme has been reduced by over a third since 2010.

Under the scheme, councils have to provide free off-peak travel for those aged over 62 or disabled.

The government says it provides funding to meet subsidised travel costs.

Local authorities say the funding from central government for concessionary fares has been cut by £261m since the coalition came to power.

Now councils say they are forced to subsidise the scheme, often by cutting back on other local transport services. It is a particular problem for county councils trying to provide relatively expensive rural bus routes and school transport.Some authorities are now stripping back rural bus timetables, or cancelling free travel for elderly and disabled passengers during peak hours.

Free home-to-school…

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