Fen eye - Fare scheme will offer free local bus travel

PUBLISHED: 11:42 10 March 2006 | UPDATED: 21:46 28 May 2010

A NEW concessionary bus fare scheme to come into operation on April 1 will give eligible passengers free travel on local bus journeys within Fenland. Men and women aged 60 and over, disabled and registered blind or partially-sighted residents will be eli

A NEW concessionary bus fare scheme to come into operation on April 1 will give eligible passengers free travel on local bus journeys within Fenland.Men and women aged 60 and over, disabled and registered blind or partially-sighted residents will be eligible for bus passes.For many years eligible passengers paid half the comparable adult fare for journeys within the county and the new scheme will enhance that provision.On top of free travel within the district, reduced fares will be charged on journeys that cross over the district boundary but are still within the wider Cambridgeshire and Peterborough area. Fares will be set at £1 single and £1.80 return.In addition, some out-of-county journeys are also included in the flat fare scheme for the first time, including journeys from any Fenland stops to King's Lynn and Downham Market.Registered blind or partially-sighted residents with bus passes will continue to be able to travel free on any journeys within the county boundary.The bus passes can be used at weekends, bank holidays and after 9.30am Monday to Friday with some exceptions.Central Government determined that free local bus travel for over 60s and disabled people would be provided from April 1, 2006 which is the reason for the change. Any wider extension of the scheme in the future will depend on funding from central Government.Fenland Council, along with all other councils in the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough area, has worked together with bus operators and Cambridgeshire County Council to provide a scheme that can be funded by all the partners in order to provide the best deal.To tie in with the new scheme, the bus passes are being re-designed and these are expected to be ready in early June. Please look out for further information and publicity at this time.Current pass holders with expiry dates between April and June 2006 will not need to renew their passes immediately. Bus drivers will accept passes that have these expiry dates but once the new passes are ready they will need to be renewed.If a user's current bus pass expires after June 2006, it will need renewing when it is at its expiry date, as normal.Leaflets detailing all the services and information about the scheme are available from all four Fenland @ your service shops in Wisbech, March, Chatteris and Whittlesey.Councillor Mac Cotterell, portfolio holder responsible for Older People Issues said: "I am extremely pleased to see that we have been able to negotiate a reduction in cross-border fares. I do hope in the future that the Government will find a way of bringing in totally free travel for over 60s, regardless of border. "Obviously, this new scheme will further enhance the service we have been providing.

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