Councillors have expressed relief at the council’s decision not to go ahead with cuts to access passes for the disabled.

The proposals were officially rejected at Reading Borough Council’s (RBC) Policy committee on Monday, February 18.

The committee did, however, approve a review of the administration of access passes which could make eligibility checks more stringent.

Councillor Rob White, leader of the Reading Green Party, said: “I am glad to hear that this isn’t going ahead.

"I thought this was an attack on our most vulnerable residents."

Councillor David Stevens, of the Conservative group, added: “We did – likewise – feel most uncomfortable about what you were proposing. It seemed a step too far. I am relieved we have come to the same position."

The council decided against the proposals due to the inconvenience it would cause to many in the community and the uncertainly about how much money the cuts would save.

Councillor Tony Page, lead member for Transport, said: “This was never put forward as an attack. This was a response to a very serious budget crisis which hasn’t gone away.

“It was always a saving that we were very loathe to take.

“We have lost £58m since 2010 and further cuts are still to come. We have been able to construct a budget in the teeth of Tory cuts that protects the most vulnerable in our community."

The proposals would have reduced weekday free bus travel for access pass holders to between 9.30am and 11pm, reverting to the national statutory scheme.

Free travel on ReadiBus services was also under threat.

Consultations on whether to remove the concessionary elements of the schemes were held in May and November 2018.

66 per cent of respondents rejected the plans, with 32 per cent backing the proposals.

Attending medical appointments was the most common reason given for needing free travel before 930am during the week and Readibus services.