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Tory Changes to Travel Tokens Will Hit the Most Vulnerable, say Lib-Dems

February 2, 2009 12:00 PM

The Tory Executive of Wokingham Borough Council on Thursday 29th January voted to take travel tokens away from elderly people under 70 years of age. Only people over 70 years of age and disabled people over the age of 16 can now apply for free travel tokens, currently amounting to £40 worth of tokens, plus a further £40 worth for (means-tested) people on the lowest incomes.

Councillor Prue Bray (Leader of the Wokingham Lib Dem Councillor Group and councillor for Winnersh ward) said, "This change to the concessionary fares scheme will hit some of the most vulnerable people in the borough. Tokens will be denied to pensioners who are on the lowest incomes, and will especially hit those pensioners who currently receive the extra means-related tokens.

"The Tories say that the Government free bus pass is better value for pensioners, and that the travel tokens are no longer needed, but try telling that to those pensioners who live in areas of the borough that don't have any bus service. Travel tokens were a godsend to these people and to many elderly people who are unable to travel by bus.

"The Liberal Democrats are pleased that the Leader of the Council has stated that the vulnerable elderly and children are now his priorities, but if he really means what he says, why is he taking travel tokens away? Removing the tokens from people under 70 is going to hit the less well off and those in areas with no buses especially hard - and these are some of the very people he says are his priority."


At Thursday's Executive meeting, Tory Councillor Chris Edmunds said he hoped the Lib Dems would not refer to this as a "Tory cut". Sorry, Chris, it is!