Hull led the way on pensioners’ free bus travel

Hull led the way on free bus travel for pensioners, Hull North MP Diana Johnson said today.

Thanks to additional funding announced in Labour's recent Budget, from April 2008 people over 60 and disabled people will be able travel free off-peak on any local bus across England, and not just in their own local area.

This new funding is an extension to the national scheme, started April 1 2006, which allows free off peak local travel to people over 60 and disabled people in their local area.

However, in Hull 48,000 residents eligible for the passes have enjoyed free local bus travel since April 2005 a full year ahead of other parts of the country.

Diana Johnson MP said: "As with the free healthy food policy in our schools, Hull City Council has been a pioneer for free travel for pensioners. It's great to see other parts of the country again having to peddle hard to catch up with Hull!

"From April 2008, the over 60s and disabled people in Hull will now be able to take advantage of free off-peak travel, right across England, not just locally within Hull. For many older people this will enhance the freedom, choice and opportunities to travel around the country.

"This was one of the best parts of Gordon Brown's recent Budget and I'll be campaigning to make sure that over-60s and disabled people in Hull know about the improved scheme and take advantage of their new entitlement when it starts."

Alistair Darling, Transport Secretary said: "From April 2008, over 11 million older and disabled people in England will now be able to take advantage of free off-peak bus travel in every area of the country.

"Whether using the bus locally, or when visiting other parts of the country, this announcement means older and disabled people can travel for free. This means more freedom and more choice for millions of people."