Free bus travel blow for Axminster OAPs

Pensioners will not be allowed to use passes before 9.30am

AXMINSTER pensioners are set to lose out because of new restrictions on the use of free bus passes, councillors are warning.

Former mayor, Douglas Hull says a ban on their use before 9.30am will prevent many being able to take advantage of the concession to keep important hospital appointments.

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

But from Friday, April 1, they faced having to pay full fares – or travel much later in the day.

“It is ridiculous,” he said. “The OAPs should be pressing to be allowed to continue on the early bus.”

Councillor Andrew Moulding said the changes had been introduced because the concession was now being operated by Devon County Council rather than the district authority.

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He said: “ It comes at a cost and Devon has looked to make the scheme viable, within certain financial restraints, and this is one thing they have done.”

Mayor Ron Jones warned that another possible change, to save money, could be the introduction of means testing for the passes.

“I would not be surprised to see that ion the agenda,” he added.