From 1 April, bus travellers in Norwich will no longer be able to use concessionary bus passes between 8.30am and 9.30am.
Concessionary passes entitle travellers to free off-peak travel on local buses anywhere in England. Off-peak hours are 9.30am until 11pm Monday to Friday, and all day during weekends and bank holidays.
Norwich City Council has previously offered and discretionary extra hour of free travel within Norfolk before 9.30am – but is forced to discontinue this service. The change was agreed as part of setting the budget and council tax for 2009-10.
Councillor Brian Morrey, executive member for sustainable city development, said: “We regret having to make this announcement.
“The council welcomes the introduction of free bus travel – and the many advantages it brings to pass holders but we are no longer able to provide this additional hour.
"The amount the council receives from Government to pay for concessionary travel does not cover the costs involved, and is less as a proportion than other councils receive."
When only a half fare discount was available, the council spent in the region of £500,000 a year. Until this year, councils were responsible for paying for their pass holders’ travel, but now they are responsible for paying for all journeys that start in their area, even if they do not live in the district. This means Norwich City Council is anticipating having to spend £3.4 million this year and £4 million next year.
The new times apply to any pass holder boarding a bus in Norwich who has an English national concessionary bus pass.
For further details about the bus pass scheme click here or contact us by calling 0844 980 3333.