County Council takes over bus concessions

Lincolnshire County Council will take over responsibility from the City of Lincoln Council for the concessionary bus fares scheme from April 6.

The move, announced last year by the Government, will see the County Council taking on the scheme with reduced funding.

The authority maintained free travel within the county at all times for Lincolnshire pass holders, including pre 9.30am. Taxi tokens have been scrapped.

The County Council however, has cut 22 bus routes in and around Lincoln and several more across Lincolnshire altogether.

The concessionary travel scheme allows eligible people to travel free on schedule bus services across the county and adjoining towns.

For a bus pass, the age of eligibility for women will be pension age and for men it will be the pensionable age of a woman born on the same day.

However, the pension age for women is rising by five years over a ten-year period and the eligible age for a bus pass will rise gradually over this period.

Disabled people will be entitled to free off peak (after 09.30am Monday to Friday, anytime at weekends) local bus travel across the whole of England.

Current bus passes issued by the City of Lincoln Council will still remain valid until their expiry date.

To renew a bus pass, there will now be just the one face-to-face location to renew passes at the City Hall on Orchard Street.

Anita Ruffle, Public Transport Strategy and Development Manager at the County Council, said ” there will inevitably be changes from the current system.”

“We will also have limitations as local elements of the scheme must be paid for by the County Council and our budget cuts have been well publicised in recent months.

“One cutback we’ll therefore have to make is to the places where people can walk in to apply for, or renew, their pass.

“We will be able to keep City Hall in Lincoln as the one place where this is possible and the arrangements put in place for dealing with postal applicants should mean that applicants are not waiting any longer for their pass.

“The introduction of an online system later in the year will also be a welcomed bonus,” Ruffle added.

Source: Lincolnshire County Council