Cuts planned for coach discount fares

A councillor has expressed his alarm at the latest government plan to cut special concessionary discounts for the disabled and elderly on National Express from 1 November.

Concern has been raised that National Express run 18 routes where 32-51% of passengers receive concessions. According to their collected figures, 42% of Whitby public transport users receive concessions on their coach travel.

With the Government’s latest plan to abolish the 50% discount for the elderly and disabled, however, the most vulnerable transport users will be forced to bear the brunt of the public funding cutbacks.

Green Party Coun Nick Harvey, said: “Coach travel has been the most economical way of travelling around the country. Yorkshire’s East Coast towns have a high level of disabled and elderly residents, often isolated from family and friends.

“These bus routes are a lifeline offering a direct link to many large towns and cities by convenient direct coach.

“This helps vulnerable people keep in touch with family and friends.”

In the last year, 2,887,773 concessionary journeys were made on National Express coaches alone.

Experts have warned that this loss of a concessionary discount for certain passengers will reduce the overall economic viability of ‘non-core routes’ through the more rural areas of the region.