Free pass for over 60s

PUBLISHED: 09:19 28 March 2008 | UPDATED: 08:57 10 June 2010

FROM next month 27,000 over 60s in East Devon will be entitled to free off peak travel to anywhere in England.

FROM next month 27,000 over 60s in East Devon will be entitled to free off peak travel to anywhere in England.

The card, introduced by the Government, follows on from the half price fares on many scheduled coach services, including National Express, introduced in 2003.

From April, this will be extended to free local bus travel anywhere in England for the over 60s and the disabled.

Labour's Parliamentary spokesman for East Devon, Gareth Manson, said: "This new National Travelcard will put an end to the discriminatory practice brought about by East Devon District Council's refusal to join the Devon-wide concessionary travel scheme.

"This decision allowed residents from other parts of Devon to use their travelcards in East Devon but didn't allow East Devon residents to reciprocate."

He said that national travel cards would encourage holders to leave the car at home and use public transport.

"This is an excellent example of our Government using imagination to deliver for older and disabled people whilst reducing congestion and pollution."

Councillor Sara Randall Johnson, leader of EDDC, said: "The East Devon decision to restrict travel to district boundaries and a few other local destinations was the more prudent approach, since it struck a sensible balance between giving concessionary travel to needy residents whilst at the same time limiting the drain on council tax payers.

"Had the Government funded the scheme properly we would not have felt the need to disengage from the Devonwide scheme".

Concessionary travel cards are available to every person over 60 and eligible disabled people. If you already hold an East Devon bus pass you will automatically receive the new National Travelcard.

To apply for a card, contact EDDC by telephone on: (01395) 571500 or by writing to Concessionary Bus Passes, East Devon District Council, Knowle, Sidmouth, Exeter, EX10 8HL.

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