The Government has stepped in with a financial bailout to help Transport for London to cope with the financial hit of Covid19.
However, there are two conditions which we need your help to get reversed.
The first condition is that from 15th June 2020 the Older Person's Freedom Pass will no longer be valid on TFL services before 9am. As many supermarkets have put in 'silver hours' for older shoppers usually before 9am this means older residents will need to drive, meaning more cars on the road, pay a fare just to go shopping or wait until later when the shops will be busier. It could also affect people's ability to travel to early hospital appointments or appointments with their GP. The Disabled Freedom Pass remains unaffected.
The second condition is that from September the free travel provision for the under 18s will be scrapped. The plan is that councils will pick up the responsibility, and the tab, under their obligations under the Education Act 1996 however this only applies to travel to and from school and only for journeys over a certain distance depending on age. Cash strapped councils simply won't be able to fund the full range of free travel currently enjoyed by young people. This means the children of our poorest families could miss out on opportunities simply because their parents can't afford to pay for them to travel.
The Government claims these are only temporary measures but we all know how difficult it is to reinstate a benefit once it has been scrapped.
We need to send a clear message to Grant Shapps the Secretary of State for Transport asking him to change his mind on these conditions. Cllr Gareth Roberts has already sent him his views as Leader of Richmond Council and we hope you will join him.
If you want to say no to scrapping free travel for under 18s and placing unnecessary restrictions on the Older Persons Freedom Pass then please sign the petition.
We, the undersigned, call on the government and TfL to withdraw their plans to:
- Scrap free travel for under 18s
- Stop the use of the Older Person’s Freedom Pass on buses before 9 o’clock in the morning