Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Bus Travel Set To Get Even Worse!

Young people not in work or education could be in line for free bus travel after leading bus operators pledged to back a plan aimed at helping the under-25s back to work.
‘Free’ in the sense, of course, that it’ll cost everyone else.
The proposals come from Greener Journeys – a campaign funded by Arriva, FirstGroup, Go-Ahead and Stagecoach. National Express has also agreed to back the scheme.
The costs would be paid from the bus operators' existing revenues and grants rather than new funding, although government help will be needed to design effective identification of eligible passengers.
So, there’s another cost. The cost of a government department to set up, administer and monitor whichever scheme they come up with to identify NEETs to the bus companies.
While taxpayers would not directly fund the scheme, the operators are keen to make the point that bus travel is a key engine of growth for the beleaguered economy, after grants for bus service operators were cut in the coalition's spending reviews.
Then, surely, they are going to want more paying customers? Not fewer?
A study published on Tuesday by the University of Leeds Institute of Transport Studies found that commuters using buses generate £64bn of economic output in their work, and that 1 in 10 commuters are completely reliant on buses for their jobs.
So, you plan to increase the load on the service by packing more non-paying customers on to make the journey even more of a misery than it currently is?
Young people, with limited financial resources and facing prohibitive car insurance premiums, are particularly dependant on buses, with one in two students frequent users.
‘Students’, of course, wouldn’t be included in the description ‘NEET’, would they?

And all those dependent on buses for work or study are now going to find themselves squeezed out by those who can now access ‘free’ travel. Because, let’s face it, they aren’t all going to be diligently travelling to job interviews, are they?

They are going to be riding around aimlessly because someone else’s paying and they’ve exhausted the possibilities of the ‘Jeremy Kyle’ show for the day.

Even the people proposing this seem to realise it’s utter tosh:
Mackie said that he believed free travel would be "better targeted" at the under-25s than the older generation "in principle, although the political realities are such that you can't".
Well, quite. How is this going to meet EU age discrimination laws? 

This seems such a fundamentally ill-thought-out, pointless scheme, I can only wonder at just what it’s meant to distract us all from…

11 comments:

Hogdayafternoon said...

Bugger! Not only will I not get a bus pass on my 60th because of a sliding scale, but I hear that I'll get a free turd sampling kit from the NHS as compensation. Bollocks, I'm off on me bike - no, wait, its still pissing down, right, where's my BB gun, I'm off to shoot some slugs off me hosters....ooo I could crush a grape.

Woman on a Raft said...

I'm off to shoot some slugs off me hosters.

Should you not try some ointment first?

The Stigler said...

My guess is that the operators will offer cheap (or free) off-peak travel, but the hint here is "and government better pay for it through some piece of chicanery or they'll drop it.

And government love this story because they can make out that they achieved something good.

Net result: more chavs sitting on buses, driving good passengers away.

Anonymous said...

The Stigler said:"Net result: more chavs sitting on buses, driving good passengers away."

As happened in London when Livingstone did the same.

Bucko said...

""This seems such a fundamentally ill-thought-out, pointless scheme,""

Do they ever come up with anything else?

Furor Teutonicus said...

Lord Wellington; "I don't wish to see the lower classes sitting in trains, when they should be working."

XX Well, quite. How is this going to meet EU age discrimination laws? XX

Interesting point. Because the amount of "training courses", and other "back to work schemes" that we have here, even paid for by the E.U(!), are nearly always for "under 25s."

Obviously they can get around the laws when they wish.

Anonymous said...

A recent (unofficial) survey carried out by a colleague of mine - who is married to a bus driver - stated that when people with free bus passes produce them and give their destination, the driver usually enters the furthest destination from the pick-up point, even if the passenger is only going two stops down. This is so the bus company can bill the Government, i.e. US, for the full journey as opposed to the one actually taken. If this is happening outside my own little burgh, then someone, somewhere, is making a whole lot of money out of us. This is scandalous! You would think these people were politicans or some such lower form of life. However, on a lighter note, when Ken brought in the free bus passes for aged Londoners, there was a stipulation that they couldn't use the passes before 10am. They became known as 'twirlies' because at about 9.45am you would find them getting on buses, showing their passes and asking, "Am I too early?"

Anonymous said...

JHC! Thought we had run out of money

JuliaM said...

"Not only will I not get a bus pass on my 60th because of a sliding scale, but I hear that I'll get a free turd sampling kit from the NHS as compensation."

The state of most buses these days, that last could prove handy!

"Should you not try some ointment first?"

:D

"Net result: more chavs sitting on buses, driving good passengers away."

Indeed. And as anon points out, that's just what happened in London!

" They became known as 'twirlies' because at about 9.45am you would find them getting on buses, showing their passes and asking, "Am I too early?""

I think they've done away with that restriction now, haven't they?

Anonymous said...

It depends upon the town.
My town allows "concessionary travel pass" holders to travel at any time.
Others stipulate 1100z, etc.
Most also allow reduced train travel.
So, for instance, I could travel from Cambs to Sussex on the free travel pass by changing at county borders.
Or I could buy an annual railcard (28 quid), and then get a 33% reduction on a train fare....say every weekend by producing the concessionary card (actually a smartcard with rfid inside).

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