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Dawn Primarolo, Labour MP for Bristol South, has met with the Managing Director of National Express to discuss her constituents’ concerns regarding the Government’s decision to withdraw half-price coach fares for people aged over 60 and disabled people, and was pleased to hear that the coach company will be introducing in its own concessionary scheme in the near future.
National Express coach
A large number of Bristol South residents have contacted Dawn in recent weeks expressing concern about losing the concessionary fares which enabled them to visit friends and relatives at an affordable price.  For many, the reduced fares have been a lifeline, without which they could become socially isolated.

Dawn wrote to the Transport Secretary, Philip Hammond MP, in July raising concerns about the Government’s decision to axe the concessionary fare scheme.  Unfortunately the reply received by Dawn indicated the Government would not reconsider.

Following a meeting last week with the Managing Director of National Express, Andrew Cleaves, Dawn was pleased to hear that the Department for Transport has agreed that, providing bookings are made before the end of October 2011, people aged over 60 and disabled people will still be able to get the half price fares through to the end of August 2012.  

Dawn has also been informed that National Express intend to bring in their own concessionary scheme offering discounted travel although they will not be able to match the current half price fares.  The exact details of the scheme are being finalised.

Dawn says:

“It is hugely disappointing that the Government has completely abolished the Coach Concessionary Fare Scheme without any consultation with passengers or consideration of alternatives such as a reduced subsidy.   I know how disappointing this is for many people who travel by coach.

Despite this, I am pleased that eligible people still have the chance to book half price fares for journeys up until the end of August 2012 as long as the booking is made by the end of October this year.  I’m also very happy to learn that National Express will be introducing its own concessionary scheme in the near future and I look forward to hearing more about this soon.”


Posted 10 October 2011

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