Changes planned to concessionary travel for those with ‘a severe and enduring mental health problem’

A number of changes are being recommended to the concessionary travel scheme run by the Isle of Wight council. Details within.

Single decker southern vectis bus by eastleightbusman

The Isle of Wight council have launched a consultation on making major changes to the concessionary travel scheme.

The proposed changes do not affect free travel arrangements for older and disabled residents who wish to travel on Island buses between 9.30am and 11pm, but do affect other travel times.

Recommended for removal
In 2010, the council removed the additional discretionary element for older people – but not for those with a disability.

The additional discretionary elements recommended for removal from the concessionary travel scheme include:

  • the New Islander Card which provides additional free travel on Island buses and Islandline for those with a “severe and enduring mental health problem”;
  • the New Islander Card element which gives free travel on Island buses and Islandline to a travelling companion of a person with a “severe and enduring mental health problem” and of those who meet the national disability criteria (the intention is to retain free travel for appropriate accompanying travel companions, between 9.30am and 11pm, and at any time on Saturdays, Sundays or bank holidays (for 24 hours));
  • free travel on Island buses from 11 at night to 9.30 in the morning for all qualifying disabled people (except on Saturdays, Sundays and bank holidays when free 24 hour travel will remain);
  • free travel on Islandline for all qualifying disabled people – as free travel is available on bus services operating in parallel.

The Island’s concessionary travel scheme cost the council £4.72 million in 2017/18, for both mandatory and additional discretionary elements.

The new proposals amend the current scheme which was introduced in 2008, and would align the Island to many other parts of the country and enable the council to make savings in the process.

Ward: In line other parts of the country
Cabinet member for public transport, Cllr Ian Ward, said

“For some time we have been looking carefully at the extra discretionary elements we provide for Islanders, above and beyond what is available in many other parts of England.

“This consultation will seek people’s views on how we can fairly and acceptably amend the scheme to bring us in line with a lot of other parts of the country, and generate savings to benefit Islanders in other service areas.

“We are also looking at the issue of medical appointments and whether the removal of the pre-9.30am free travel element would disadvantage some people, and through discussions with the clinical commissioning group whether this could be overcome in terms of appointment times to ensure those affected can still enjoy free bus travel.”

The consultation starts Tuesday 16 July and ends at midday on Tuesday 8 October 2019. It can be accessed via the council’s Website.

Image: Eastleigh Bus Man under CC BY 2.0

Tuesday, 16th July, 2019 11:43am

By

ShortURL: http://wig.ht/2n3Y

Filed under: Health, Island-wide, Isle of Wight News, Top story

Any views or opinions presented in the comments below must comply with the Commenting 'House Rules' and are solely those of the author and do not represent those of OnTheWight.

Leave your Reply

9 Comments on "Changes planned to concessionary travel for those with ‘a severe and enduring mental health problem’"

newest oldest most voted
peterj
This will only serve to worsen the mental health crisis that is prevalent on the Island. It doesn’t escape my notice that their statement completely fails to mention how much cutting these schemes will save. They trumpet the scary-sounding £4.72 million cost, but I wager the vast majority of that is for the England national concessionary travel scheme (i.e the ‘o.a.p’ bus pass). I also dislike the… Read more »
eastcowes
Hear, hear! How many disabled people are travelling before 9.30am unless it is utterly necessary, like a hospital appointment? So basically it is hurting people who need to get to their hospital appointments. Since the Council pays a flat rate to Southern Vectis (and Southern Vectis doesn’t have increased peak period charges), this is just punitive to disabled people who often can’t get out of the house… Read more »
peterj
Another indication that the consultation is a sham: it will only let you take part if you have one of the cards in question. No one else is allowed to have a say it seems! You would also think it is obvious but it’s worth pointing out: many of those who suffering enduring mental health problems may not be able or willing to complete such an on-line… Read more »
Alternative Perspective

More jam tomorrow promises from a Conservative Council that has decimated services for the most needy on the IW.

Clearly they are in a flat panic as a General Election looms on the horizon.

alisonjane
Just how many more ‘cuts’ can our vulnerable + ill residents on the Island take? This ia appalling. You cannot ‘bring us in line with other parts of the country’ because more + more of our once Island Health Services have been already axed + moved to the mainland! It wasn’t that long ago the IOW Councillors awarded themselves a pay rise….nice to see you got your… Read more »
eastcowes
Is the Council going to be responsible for delays to vital health care because of constant rescheduling of appointments? How many of us get a letter through the post only to find that we can’t do the time, and then find that there are no new available dates for several months, yet we have a critical health condition as our disability that needs on-time care? They at… Read more »
Jeff
1) We should conform to ALL other countries of the United Kingdom (Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) and provide free travel from age 60. If central government can bail out banks that have gambled with funds, at the very least local and central government should look after individuals with the same level of consideration and financial support. 2) No time restrictions. If one needs to travel to… Read more »
peterj
I have just noticed that the link to the survey for this consultation is missing on the Councils consultation page! Wilful or not, it really is appalling. It is a pitiful exercise all round, they clearly do not want peoples views and only going through the motions. Although they can’t even do that properly. The link in the article above is still valid. If anyone hasn’t completed… Read more »
peterj

The Councils consultation page is at: : https://www.iow.gov.uk/consultations/