by Chris Lofts on 2 July, 2011
South Northants Liberal Democrat Councillor Chris Lofts has taken the fight to get free bus passes for companions of elderly, sick or disabled bus travellers to County Hall.
Speaking at the Northamptonshire County Council meeting on 23rd June he highlighted the plight of one resident in Towcester who supports two family members with bus passes. They both regularly visit Northampton General Hospital by bus as they cannot afford to run a car. The resident used to have a free bus pass but now has to pay full fare to escort the family to hospital. The extra costs have really hit this hard up family hard.
Tory run NCC were urged to change their penny pinching policy of refusing bus passes for the carers of elderly, sick or disabled residents across Northamptonshire. Many elderly or disabled residents who qualify for bus passes cannot travel alone.
‘It is crazy.’ Said Chris Lofts, ‘A disabled young person could take a guide dog free on the bus but can’t take his mother.’ The only response from the Leader of the Council, Jim Harker, was that NCC could not afford the £50,000 a year it would cost to implement the change across the whole county.
‘I will be raising this issue with South Northants Council to see what pressure they can bring to bear on the county council.’ Chris Lofts stated. ‘I know we all have to watch costs but when you see the county council wasting money on their own travel expenses it is really unfair to penalise the most needy.’Leave a comment