Consultation Response: Free Bus Travel for Older and Disabled People and Modern Apprentices

In autumn / winter 2017, Transport Scotland (the Scottish Government’s national transport agency), ran four consultations relating to our campaign and offering opportunities for improving the dire state of Glasgow’s public transport. Get Glasgow Moving responded to them all, each time stating the importance of solving these issues in parallel and not in isolation.

We also ran an e-action in collaboration with Friends of the Earth Scotland, Unite Community, Unison Scotland and We Own It, encouraging as many people as possible to also send responses to Transport Scotland demanding bold reforms to our transport governance and ‘buses run for people not profit!’.

Read our Consultation Responses:

Local Bus Services in Scotland – Improving the Framework For Delivery (deadline 5 December 2017)
The Future of Smart Ticketing in Scotland (deadline 5 December 2017)
Building Scotland’s Low Emission Zones (deadline 28 November 2017)
Free Bus Travel for Older and Disabled People and Modern Apprentices (deadline 17 November 2017)

Free Bus Travel for Older and Disabled People and Modern Apprentices

To: concessionarytravelconsultation@transport.gov.scot
From: transportforglasgow@gmail.com
Subject: Consultation Response

Dear Sir/Madam,

Please accept this as our formal response to your consultation on ‘Free Bus Travel for Older and Disabled People and Modern Apprentices‘ (deadline 17 November 2017).

I’m writing on behalf of the thousands of people in Glasgow who support our volunteer-run Get Glasgow Moving campaign for a world-class, fully-integrated & accessible, publicly-owned, public transport network for everyone in our city (3,509 supporters via our 38 Degrees petition, 782 via Facebook and 265 via Twitter).

With regards to the issue of Concessionary Travel, our campaign wants to see this used as tool for social justice by rolling it out to more marginalised/low income groups: young people, unemployed, asylum seekers etc. and to be available on all modes of public transport across our city: buses, trains, Subway and cycle hire (as the ‘Freedom Pass’ works in London). See our manifesto for details.

At present, with Concessionary Travel only being available to use on our de-regulated bus network, this has created an unjust hierarchy of transport modes. It is saying “you can use the train, Subway and cycle hire if you can afford to pay” but if you’re elderly or disabled you have to make do with grossly substandard privately-owned buses.

The most affordable way to deliver this vision is through moving towards the full public-ownership and control of our public transport network. At present, private bus companies charge extortionate fares per person using a Concessionary Card. With a publicly-owned public transport network, the Concessionary Travel scheme can be rolled out at a far lower cost. This is because the actual cost should not be calculated per person – it makes little difference to the overall cost if a bus is carrying 15 or 20 people, if, for example, you give Concessionary Cards to an extra five people.

It is therefore vital to approach the issue of Concessionary Travel alongside wholesale reform of our public transport network and governance and all the issues raised in your concurrent consultations on ‘Local Bus Services in Scotland’, ‘The Future of Smart Ticketing in Scotland’ and ‘Building Scotland’s Low Emission Zones’.

We also intend to make submissions to these and we would like to be involved in the next stages of planning. Passenger / citizen involvement in decision making is essential to make the forthcoming Transport Bill and its delivery and success.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,

Ellie Harrison

getglasgowmoving.org
facebook.com/getglasgowmoving
twitter.com/getglesgamoving

you.38degrees.org.uk/p/getglasgowmoving