‘Unfair!’ Anger as over 60s in Scotland eligible for free bus pass but England loses out

Campaigner appeals for state pension release for dying people

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Specifically, some over 60s in England have communicated their belief it is “so unfair” that those living in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are able to access this ‘freebie’ benefit before them People in this age group in England have to wait until they can claim the state pension, whereas their counterparts in the rest of the UK can claim it once they turn 60. On the website 38 Degrees, a petition is available for people to sign which is calling on the British Government to offer the free bus pass to all over 60s in England.

As it stands, the petition has just over 4,000 signatures out of the 5,000 it is asking people for.

Recent changes to the state pension mean that many people will have to wait longer to access their free bus pass.

In England, someone’s eligibility for the extra benefit is aligned with the state pension age, which is currently 66.

Under current Government proposals, the retirement age threshold is set to be raised even further from 66 to 67 between 2026 and 2028.

READ MORE: State pension set to rise next year but 520,000 people will miss out

As a result of this, over 60s living in England will have to wait even longer for the free bus pass while those elsewhere in the UK will not.

Attached to the petition, campaigner Linda Jones explains why she is calling on the Government to act on this issue.

Ms Jones said: “I want to know why a woman aged 60 can get a free bus pass in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, but has to wait until 66 to get one in England. England should be the same.

“This is important because I have had my pension delayed until I am 66. I now find that being English I have to wait yet again until I am 66.”

Below the petition, those who add their name to it are able to share their reasoning for wanting all over 60s to be given the free bus pass

One signatory named Simon M said: “It’s so unfair that Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland issue free bus passes to over 60s.

“It’s far more environmentally friendly taking the bus than driving. It’s got to be of a benefit to all.

“I am 64 and we are not benefiting from any increase in pension or any wage rise.”

Rob G agreed with this train of thought, writing: “Why are people only in England not eligible for a bus pass at 60 compared to the rest of the UK. Surely this should be changed as soon as possible.”

Referring to the London Freedom Pass, Glen R added: “Did you know that over 60s in London also have this pass. It’s time to level up. Don’t the local councils want us to shop in their centres?”

This travel card offers free or discounted travel across London’s travel network, including trains, buses and trams.

Applicants for the free bus pass can check their eligibility and begin the process by logging into the Government’s website.

Claimants are able to enter their postcode address onto the ‘Apply for an older person’s bus pass’ webpage.

Outside of the free bus pass, those approaching state pension age in England can also apply for other travel concessions.

For example, over 60s are able to apply for the Senior Railcard which offers people discounts on train travel.

According to the railcard website, the concession could save a pensioner £98 a year on average.

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