Pensioners call for free bus pass to extend to train travel

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The free bus pass should be extended to cover free train travel for older people. That is according to a new petition posted on the Parliament website which is asking for Government action.

The petition has asked the Government to extend the existing older person’s bus pass to also include train travel across the whole country.

It proposes this entitlement become available to all those in the UK who have reached the state pension age. 

The petition explained: “Pensioners can become isolated and stuck at home after retirement, with many not being able to afford the high cost of train travel.

“A change to extend the older person’s pass for bus travel to cover train travel would allow for easier travel across the country and enable long day trips and other travel.

“We believe this would greatly enhance their mental wellbeing, by making it easier for them to get out of the house, travel to meet others, and visit other places.”

At present, the petition has only garnered 18 signatures, which means it is a long way off a formal response.

Petitions posted on the Parliament website need at least 10,000 signatures for an official Government response to be triggered.

At 100,000 signatures petitions are considered for debate in Parliament. 

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All petitions on the website run for six months, and this one has a deadline of September 22, 2023.

Free bus pass rules differ depending on where in the UK a person currently lives.

In Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, people should be able to get a free bus pass when they reach the age of 60.

This is due to devolved governments setting their own travel laws.

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In London, people can also get a free bus pass at 60, however, this will only cover travel within the capital.

However, in most other parts of England, people will have to wait until they reach state pension age to receive a free bus pass.

The state pension age is currently 66, and is set to rise further in the future to 67 and subsequently 68.

It could mean those living in England have to wait even longer to secure the free bus pass entitlement.

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To apply for a free bus pass, people can visit the Government’s website.

All they will need to do is enter their postcode to find out:

  • How to apply for a bus pass from their local council
  • How to check if they can get one sooner.

At present, for train travel, Britons may wish to consider a Senior Railcard.

The railcard can save an average of £98 a year on train travel, and eligibility is from a person’s 60th birthday. 

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