Letter: Pensioners’ bus pass under threat. Act now!

Peter Geach calls on fellow Islanders to support the ‘Love the bus pass campaign’ and show politicians how important the Pensioners’ bus pass is.

Storm trooper at bus stop

We always welcome a Letter to the Editor to share with our readers – unsurprisingly they don’t always reflect the views of this publication. If you have something you’d like to share, get in touch and of course, your considered comments are welcome below. This from Peter Geach from East Cowes. Ed

It is strongly rumoured that a Conservative, Con.Lib or Con.UKIP Coalition coming to power in 2015, will target the Pensioners’ bus pass.

Already Ian Duncan Smith is talking of means testing it!

MP Brandon Lewis (protégé of Eric Pickles) is reported to have called for the abolition of the England National Bus Pass as a universal entitlement free at the point of use.

Even Nick Clegg might need the bus one day
Nick Clegg has famously called for a ban on ‘millionaires’ riding the buses for free, which would save next to nothing. How about means testing the MP’s allowances says I!

This bus pass is a lifeline for older people, if it wasn’t for the bus pass and the pensioners using it, services would be reduced leading to job losses throughout the bus industry.

Pensioners just can’t afford the fare, and one day when our driving days are behind us we will all need the bus to go shopping, see the doctor, go to the hospital etc.

Economic recovery?
If the Conservatives are actively behind the scenes wanting to abolish the pass to save money; perhaps the recovery after all isn’t going as well as they would like us to believe!

If you want to keep the old age pensioners bus pass and sign the petition then contact:

Richard Worrall, 46 Winn House, Burrowes Street, Walsall, WS2 8NW
T: 01922 – 641084, M: 07522 – 215853, E: [email protected]

He will send you some forms. The petition has to be in by end of August.

The ‘Love the bus pass campaign’ (LTBP) is supported by the National Pensioners Convention. Richard Worrall is the England Co-Ordinator.

Image: The Emperor Penguin under CC BY 2.0

Friday, 18th July, 2014 1:24pm


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55 Comments on "Letter: Pensioners’ bus pass under threat. Act now!"

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Fred Karno
The bus pass is undoubtedly one of the most constructive social measures brought out by any government in recent years.. It gives older citizens mobility that they might not otherwise had and it enables older people to keep in better health, because they can get out and about. It also helps to reduce the number of cars on the roads as well. What the bean counting politicians… Read more »
Such Small Hands
I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again – just charge a small, token gesture fee for pensioners. A £1 day return when you show your card, for example. There’s been more than enough times where I’ve jumped on the bus, paid my £5 one way and stood for most of the journey due to pensioners filling it up. A tiny fee won’t break the bank… Read more »

I don’t disagree with pensioners getting a bus pass, but i also don’t see why pensioners should be singled out for special treatment.

All people on a low income should get a bus pass.

Or renationalise the busses and give everyone a pass. It could probably be done and run for 10 years on less than one high-speed rail link for toffs between London and Birmingham.

WHY NOT TAX RELIEF FOR TRAVELLING TO WORK COSTS? MP’s can claim non-taxable expenses for this! Travelling costs on the Island: Southern Vectis 7 day Freedom Pass £24 Mainland Commuters; WhiteLink Hi Speed 60 day singles £275 Red Funnel Hi Speed monthly £202; Annual £1682 Mainland Commuters have travel costs to the ferry terminal and often onward bus or train travel to work as well. I recall… Read more »

I am a pensioner. I do not see why I should have to pay for all parents to have free nursery care for their children regardless of how well off they are, but I do, so I do not feel guilty about having a bus pass.

Pensioners get a small enough state pension. The bus pass should be seen as an inflation proofed mobility benefit; for that is what it is. People who make little or no provision for Retirement, get many supplements to the extent they do better than those who made such provision. MP’s do extremely well, completely sheltered from acts of gross economic incompetence. That is what should be challenged.… Read more »
sam salt
The bus pass for older people is a good thing. It allows them to get out and about, stops social isolation and allows many to remain independent. However, my one gripe is that the pass should be used prudently. One of my colleagues recently got on a bus using their pass, realised they had got on the wrong bus and got off at the next stop. This… Read more »

You will always get a small minority abusing a system; even the Rt. Honerables!


Now there’s a meany!

Ah yes, the poor pensioner. Lest we forget those passing the 65yrs mark are in the wealthiest overall generation that the UK has known. Yes, there will be some less well-off than others, but there are also some doing very well, quietly living out their days parked up in large detatched bungalows on the Island, with cosy relationships with their accountants, who are paying no, or very… Read more »
Make your mind up!

Make your mind up, please. Are these pensioners so rich they need accountants in which case they will not get any Council tax relief. Are they also buying new cars in which case they will be no burden on the bus service.

So which is it? are they so rich or are they poor?


And disrespectful reference to “our growing wrinkly population” sounds almost like saying that ‘we’, who clearly are considered by ThomasC to be the ‘legitimate’ population of the UK, have a growing problem with vermin! ‘Our/we’ needs to apply to all ages. The language we use can include or isolate people.

I’ll give up my bus pass if you lot give up your free nursery care no matter how well off you are. Also most pensioners are on a fixed income which like all other incomes are going down in value. On the other-hand, whilst the younger generation are struggling (and it was just like that in the 60s when I first went out to work), they still… Read more »
The Sciolist
As ever, when politicians interfere with a commercial market, they get ripped off. The bus owners have got very rich on charging the taxpayer the highest possible fare every single time a wrinkly boards a bus. In these troubled times, I see no sensible reason to give every pensioner free travel, it makes no sense that well off pensioners such as Alan Sugar, David Attenborough or heaven… Read more »

Nick Cleggs precise point. Millionaires shouldn’t use free buses!


Clegg? Is he the millionaire chappy with a taxpayer funded official car and driver?

Pensioners, love ’em or hate ’em? As a pensioner, though not entitled to a pass, I have a car so don’t require one anyway. Nevertheless I am perceived to be rich because I own my house, have a car and a few bob in the bank. Apparently I am not entitled to any of this. I will now write in my defence and probably in defence of… Read more »
Hello Brian You don’t sound like the typical pensioner. Many pensioners lost out in the Equitable Life collapse. The guaranteed annuity rate (GAR) policy holders rate was subsidised by yjr non-GAR policy holder in a very low return. Who decided: of 5 Judges 3 were reported to have Equitable Life policies!! You decide!!! Final Salary Schemes are a thing of the past. Savings rates are artificially low… Read more »

I was also conned by the endowment scandal. I had two endowments which matured with pathetic pay-offs. I don’t bemoan my misfortune and slag off those who did better, like today’s youngsters.

The Sciolist

According to figures published today, one in ten British pensioners are worth in excess of a million pounds.

Why the hell would you give them free bus travel? Taxation is supposed to be about redistribution of wealth.


Read Brian’s comment above!


Turning inwards.

What about the 1% who own all the wealth. Why don’t you have the guts to point your finger at them instead of poor pensioners?

Or is that too easy?

Steephill Jack

It would be good to know which outlets on the Island already have these petition forms, so we can sign them.
I believe there will not be an online petition because so many of these old people don’t have computers !


Hi Steephill Jack
Afraid you will need to contact the Organiser; get some copies and distribute them around the local pubs, clubs and shops.
The Petition has to be in by end August.


Steephill Jack

I already contacted the organiser but I know that others in my town have been out and about taking forms to various outlets, some of which will already have them.
I also suggested to the organiser that an online petition would be a good idea.
It’s an important issue, but I’m not impressed by the strategy.


Thanks Steephill Jack. The petition is doing the rounds as well in East Cowes and Sandown the last I heard.
Regarding strategy; the Organisers felt it more effective to actually communicate with people when they sign the petition. Though I don’t think an on line petition is ruled out later.
The main thing is people are getting to know about it; something is being done.

Surprise! surprise! The information comes from the right-wing comic, the Telegraph, reporting on an analysis by Prudential Insurance of of ONS data. Why did they bother? A clue might be found in the final paragraph: “Vince Smith-Hughes of Prudential said: “The figures underline the importance of people saving as much as possible as early as possible in their working lives, to enable them to secure a comfortable… Read more »
Like I was told in the 1980’s. Put your cash in this endowment and you will have so much dosh you won’t know what to do with it. 25 years later and all I got were letters from the company, all misery and woe as to why they were paying out crap returns. The cheeky sod even headed their letter with “what you should do about your… Read more »

I’m waiting for Monty Don to tell me how to grow a Pound Tree!

Don Smith
Free bus travel has been given to OAP up in Lancashire for over sixty years – They also enjoy free swimming. With the islands booming tourist industry and the many money making festival, I just can not understand why the IoW is always crying poverty. OAP use the bus services more at off peak times, If the OAPs were not on the buses the buses would be… Read more »
To keep going, the UK is borrowing and printing money. Things are not at all rosy. Austerity is the consequence of being bankrupt; it is not an option. The bus pass is absurd for those with plenty of money, it should be means-tested – at what level and how, I don’t know, but why should the man on £12,000 be paying his taxes to provide a bus… Read more »
Don Smith — Sadly the tourist industry is not booming this year :-( As for buses, I use the bus daily or several times a week and wealthy-looking pensioner tourists all use their passes. I wonder whether we should disallow mainland bus passes on the Island? Yes, I know the arguments against and also the law doesn’t allow at the moment but it really would help the… Read more »
Steephill Jack

“Let’s go for a holiday on the Isle of Wight. We can take the train to a ferry port and use the wonderful bus service there.”

And then they pay to stay somewhere, eat, drink, shop and spend lots of money. It all goes to Island businesses and keeps them going so they can pay the business rates which pays for the bus passes. Get it ?


If the bus pass is limited to one county only; what happens to people living on a county border and need to cross counties?
The cost of issuing a bus pass is peanuts. Only those who need it; use it as has been said earlier.
The bus pass is effective and targeted to those who need it.



Get it? Yes, the point you’re making is no doubt understood by schoolchildren.

Another argument used is “we’ve paid in for that all our working lives”. Wrong. You’ve been paying for the previous generations’ benefits. The notion that we are “paying-into” some fund for our old age is openly admitted to be nonsense. It never has been like that. You have been making pension payments into a ponzi pot. Sorry. Nothing there. Never was. You are at the mercy of… Read more »

Correct DW- NI has been a government PONZI scheme for the last few decades paying for current expenditure not building up a pot of money. ( Charles Ponzi was imprisoned several times for his illegal schemes as a serial swindler- maybe some politicians and people in the finance world ought to suffer a similar fate?)


Lets vote for that!

Albert — The difference between Charles Ponzi and Governments is that Ponzi wanted to line his own pocket while Governments believed, in their ignorance, that sustainable growth ad infinitum is possible. It isn’t. Unfortunately the penny still hasn’t dropped and the great God of Growth is still the True God and the Only God. He is also a false God, a jealous God and an unsustainable God.… Read more »

However the similarity between Ponzi and many politicians is that they line their own pockets at the expense of others while they can get away with it!

Good morning everyone. There seems to be an implied assertion that different ages / generations hold different rights and different perspectives. I’m sure there is some truth in that, but are such generalisations contributing usefully to the matter in question? I’m generally in agreement with most of what is said above, except the notion that younger people just moan and expect everything to be handed to them.… Read more »
Peter has certainly stirred things up regarding the bus passes which I have never bothered to apply for. People who get a bus pass are not the problem Many of my friends have managed to register as disabled having arthritis and such. They now get a Brand New Car taxed and Insured every three years. Why am I mad? because not one of them would ever have… Read more »
Just a minor correction smithy.. Motability cars are NOT free, never have been, never will be.. Motability are a charity, they negotiate 3 year lease agreements for the disabled and the money (usually around £50 per week)is deducted from their benefit awarded for mobility requirements. I used to drive a Motability car and it was a fabulous help, but uninformed snide remarks and the huge COST became… Read more »
Sounds like Nick Clegg is anxious to be seen to be on the populist side of the angels in the run-up to the election, in the cause of trying to cleave a visible divide between his party and the Tories. In central London wealthy older people may find buses quick and easy, but otherwise, who wants to hang around at bus stops getting increasingly frustrated, and in… Read more »

Would you trust Nick Clegg to drive a bus?

I wouldn’t for fear that we would all end up elsewhere (or going over a cliff) because he was diverted the smell of potential personal power coming from somewhere

I think Cleg has led his party over a cliff! Letting down his constituency foundry when they needed funding to legitemately upgrade the foundry to capture international contracts, and the Tuition Fee’s! He and his party will never live that down for years1 No one now believes what he says. His statesmanship! He was responsible for The Gagging Bill. It was he who put it out for… Read more »
Don Smith
What Government has the bottle (Or stupidity) to deprive OAPs of their bus passes? Labour will not do it on principle, and the Tory party know full well that any party that takes on the pensioners must be potty; They [Tory MPs] would be rejected at the next election. Mr Cameron, get a grip on the Celebs and others, who avoid paying their taxes and are investing… Read more »

Don Smith. Yes, poisoned chalice. It will happen. The money is running out. You can’t keep borrowing and printing.

Don Smith

No bus passes for OAP means buses running half full or empty – Were is the sense in that David W?


I’m not sure the busses left will be half empty. There will surely be a lot less of them, drivers too. The OAP helps keep the bus sevice viable. It is also as has been stated before a great social benefit.
Now if we ALL had decent pensions……

Don Smith — No sense at all. But the notion that we can all continue to drive our personal cars willy-nilly is incorrect. There will not be the power and there are environmental issues. The status quo is not sustainable. Meanwhile, I am not suggesting that nobody gets a bus pass. Those who enjoy a good income should pay. Let them buy a Key, like every working… Read more »
Bus passes are up for discussion because the Banks screwed the economy; not the family man and pensioners. With very low interest rates on savings the banks are replenishing their coffers; not lending to small businesses to try and get the economy moving again. Their priority is to manipulate their earnings to sustain obscene bonuses. I don’t see we have a real economic recovery on our hands.… Read more »
What about the point that well-off older people are likely to be using their own cars or taxis, (or are not fit enough to travel), so bus passes are in reality used by people who can’t afford either. (And see above my list of disincentives to use a bus unless you have no alternative). And also, a massive amount of the nation’s budget is already spent on… Read more »

Just a reminder.
All petition signatures have to be with the organiser (address at bottom of petition) by end of August at the latest.
Interestingly a number of pensioners would be prepared to pay an administrative cost for the bus pass.

Southern Vectis as part of the “GO-AHEAD” multinational monopoly are the problem.They overcharge for the ordinary passenger. That’s why people can’t afford to shop in Newport. They do things like buy back their own shares to push up the stock market price. The authorities have already moved the goalposts so many pensioners cannot get bus-passes at 60 anymore and they will be moved even more with subsidies… Read more »