Older peoples' Freedom passes
The older people & disability Freedom Passes are being given out this week in Islington. Probably the same applies across London and the rest of the country. I've always thought it was a marvelous concession and something to look forward to when one reached 60 years of age. An entitlement given to all senior citizens & disabled people throughout the country. Seems I hadn't done my homework properly.
It was quite distressing to many people when last year some London councils were considering scrapping the passes to save money.
Seems the Labour government stepped in, in a backhanded way. It was only recently when Gordon Brown announced that from the 1st April 2008 it would a right of everybody over 60 years of age, I realised what a wonderful advantage those living in London had had all these years.
From April, Freedom Pass holders will also be able to travel free of charge on local buses outside the morning peak anywhere in England as part of the National Concessionary Bus Travel scheme. This additional benefit is being paid for by the government.
It been suggested that a person can now actually tour all over the country for free via the buses. I thought about the possibility of doing this and I don't think so. It would be a nightmare in logistics planning routes by buses and then there's all those stops. The arthritic bones couldn't handle it. Will be nice though to go somewhere by train or coach and be able to jump on a bus within the towns. Then there are the moans that it will cost too much for local councils and other services for older people will suffer. Shame on any council which goes down that route.
Another welcome change is that the Freedom Pass for the over 60's (blue) will from April be usable anytime of the day or night. Always seemed rather ridiculous to me that they had to wait until 9.30am before travelling and had be on their way home before 11pm. Unlike the disability (brown) Freedom Pass which has always been usable anytime.
The official Freedom Passes launch by Leslie Phillips in London last week is characterised by some very clever and funny cartoon adverts. Older people image friendly. Much nicer than the flash modern ones which do the eyes in trying to understand them.
Sorry to have to say it but this post about the passes is from a real sado. "Yes, spotted at my local tube station, one Vince Cable can quite clearly be seen flogging unsuspecting old people Freedom Passes on a bizarre advert that looks like a seventies cross between On the Buses and Pigeon Street". Miserable crow. Who the hell does he think he is. A smart ass middle class stuffed shirt of course. Where does he get off deciding what older people will like. He should realise he'll be old one day.
Well it may or may not be a caricature of Vince Cable in the advert. I haven't a clue if it's him or not because in all honesty I can't see the likeness myself. I know Vince through politics so his facial expressions are not unfamiliar to me. Well, I'm an oldie to many people so some will say it's a case of somebody needing new glasses. If truth be told, if it really is Vince I'm quite sure he wouldn't mind.
Leslie Phillips, who holds a Freedom Pass, said:
“The Freedom Pass is a fantastic scheme which can really have a positive impact on people’s lives. It is the best thing I have ever been given.
“Thanks to the generosity of London’s boroughs, older and disabled people do not have to depend on others to get them out of their homes and get around the capital".
Think that sums it up nicely.