County relents over Axminster bus pass times

Earlier concession start welcomed as “partial victory” for town’s OAPs

PENSIONER power has forced officials to relax restrictions on the use of free bus passes in Axminster.

Devon County Council, which takes over the concession tomorrow (friday), had planned to introduce a ban on their use before 9.30am, as a cost-saving measure.

But Axminster town councillor Douglas Hull warned the new rules would prevent many OAPs being able to use their passes to keep important hospital appointments.

He said that currently a number of them caught the bus, which leaves Millwey Rise at 8.50am, to go for medical treatment in Exeter.

The new rules meant they faced having to pay full fares – or travel much later in the day.

But now the county council has relented and says Stagecoach will allow people to use the free passes on its bus which leaves Axminster Railway station at 9am each day.

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Mr Hull welcomed the move as a partial victory.

“I still think they need to allow people to use their passes when the bus leaves Millwey Rise at 8.50am,” he said.

“I think it is a bit churlish of the county council not to put it back the extra 10 minutes so people there don’t have to travel into Axminster. I shall be asking the town council to take this up with them.”