County Council takes over responsibility for free bus pass scheme

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County Council takes over responsibility for free bus pass scheme

From Friday April 1, 2011 West Sussex County Council will take over responsibility for the national concessionary travel scheme from district and borough councils.

The scheme allows eligible older people and those with certain disabilities to access free off-peak bus transport.

Bus pass holders will still have the same point of contact, as the service will continue to be run by district and borough councils on behalf of the County Council.

From April older people will be able to travel for free between 9.30am and 11pm Monday to Friday and all day at weekends and on public holidays in line with national guidelines.

The County Council will also offer some additional services over and above the minimum national scheme:

• All-day weekday travel for people with disabilities.

• ‘Companion’ passes for people who need to assist people with disabilities.

• Senior citizen railcards as an alternative to the bus pass in most areas.

Lionel Barnard, West Sussex County Council Deputy Leader with responsibility for Highways and Transport, said: “It’s important for us to offer a scheme which is consistent across the whole county as at the moment there are variations in different district and boroughs.”

“This means from April the time older people can use their passes will change in some areas from 9.00am to 9.30am. We are actively talking to bus operators about the changes.”

Cards that are due to expire at the end of March will be automatically renewed. There is no need for card holders to do anything.

Further information can be found on the County Council website at www.westsussex.gov.uk/concessionarytravel

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