Council ready for more free travel
Published 9 Jun 2012 12:00 2 Comments
THERE will be an extra 30 minutes of free bus travel for Reading's elderly if councillors approve a move which could cost up to £46,000 a year.
The Government-funded concessionary fares scheme means Reading's elderly can only get free bus travel from Mondays to Fridays after 9.30am but the borough
council is planning to bring that forward to 9am on weekdays, to bring the town into line with neighbouring Wokingham borough and West Berkshire.
The cost of the extra half-an-hour free travel, estimated at between £29,000 and £46,000 a year, will be met from motorists' fines for illegally using bus lanes.
The move, which goes before the Reading borough cabinet for approval on Monday night, follows last year's re-introduction by councillors of free unrestricted bus travel for disabled residents and their carers.
In April last year the former Tory-Lib Dem coalition council ended 40 years of round the clock free bus travel for senior citizens, the disabled and their carers.
Last autumn the new Labour administration re-instated free travel at all times for 5,500 disabled people and their carers.
Borough transport leader Cllr Tony Page said yesterday (Wednesday): "This fulfils our commitment prior to the most recent local elections. Times are very tight financially. Our aspiration as an administration still remains the restoration of entirely free bus travel at all times for senior citizens, if the money can be found."
* THE cabinet is also expected to approve a rise in car park charges for September.
They include raising the 'up to six hours' rate from £10 to £11 and 'six to 24 hours' charge from £14 to £15 in Broad Street Mall and Queens Road.
The 'up to two hours' tariff will rise from £1.80 to £2 at Kings Meadow and from £1.70 to £1.80 at Hills Meadow, where there will also be an increase in the 'up to 24 hours' rate from £5 to £6.
Standard rates will replace the £1 charge at Hills Meadow and Kings Meadow on Sundays and bank holidays. The normal rate will also replace free parking at Hills Meadow on Saturdays between 1-6pm.
At the Cattle Market, the 'up to 24 hours' tariff will rise 50p to £4.50, with normal rates being introduced instead of the £3 charge on Sundays and bank holidays.
HAVE YOUR SAY BELOW
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Jun 10, 09:45
Perhaps they and Reading Buses could also explain why they withdrew the discounted bus-pass for those genuinely seeking work whilst unemployed? But considering Tony Page is mentioned above no doubt it'll be a long time coming...
Recommend? Yes 2 No 0
Sep 19, 10:29