I’m writing to invite all readers, young and old, to request copies of the ‘love the bus pass’ petition and help campaign towards 100,000 signatures by September.
They’ll be delivered to Downing Street on September 10, when we will also lobby our respective MPs.
The petition is the first major step on the way for this non-partisan campaign, which aims to get all major parties contesting the general election to pledge to retain the England bus pass (older person’s bus pass) as a universal entitlement free at the point of use. The campaign is supported by the National Pensioners’ Convention.
While all major parties pledged before the 2010 general election to keep the pass, high ranking coalition politicians soon started to call for ‘reform’.
In 2001 new MP Brandon Lewis – protégé of Eric Pickles, since promoted to minister – stated in the Conservative Home blog that the scheme had never been affordable, albeit his party hadn’t wished to publicise this before the election, for fear of “alarming” voters.
Nick Clegg then called for a ban on “millionaires joyriding” on the buses, which would save next to nothing, but is a neat way of destroying the principle of universal entitlement , with the bar being lowered over time.
Readers can request petition forms and information by phone on 01922 641084, by email on email@example.com or by writing to 4 Winn House, Burrowes Street, Walsall, WS2 8NW, giving their name and address.
National Love the Bus Pass Campaign co-ordinator.