A change in Government policy means that from April 1 Northamptonshire County Council will take over responsibility for administering the concessionary bus pass scheme from the borough and district councils in the county.
As a result there will be some changes to the service and the locations from which the passes can be obtained and renewed.
Previously, in addition to the basic bus pass, passengers in some boroughs and districts received extra benefits including travel tokens and concessions for companion travellers.
However, the government has changed its funding formula with the result that the county council is receiving less money to provide the service. In order to provide a uniform, affordable service across the county, the county council will only provide bus passes with a phased withdrawal of tokens.
Cllr Heather Smith, county council cabinet member for highways, minerals and waste, said: “Government has decided that top tier authorities should be the ones responsible for administering the concessionary bus pass scheme so that the service should be streamlined.
“However we are receiving less money from government to do this, which means funds are not now available for the ‘add-ons’ that were provided in some borough and districts.
“In order for us to run this scheme we need to provide a uniform service across Northamptonshire and in the current financial climate and with the money provided from government, what we are proposing is the only option.”
From April 1 pass holders will be entitled to free travel on all public bus journeys commencing in Northamptonshire after 9:30 a.m. and before 11:00 p.m. on Mondays to Fridays (excluding Bank Holidays), and at all times on Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays.
There will be a phased withdrawal of tokens dependant on which district council issued them.
- Kettering – tokens accepted up until and including March 31, 2011
- East Northants – tokens accepted up until and including June 30, 2011
- Daventry – tokens accepted up until and including July 29, 2011
From April 1, 2011 companions will no longer be included in the bus pass scheme.
People of pensionable age and those with a disability who want to apply for a bus pass or renew their current bus pass can do so at any library.
For more information and to see if you are eligible for a bus pass please visit:
or ask at your local library.