Bus Concession before 9:30

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We are starting a campaign to get back our Bus Travel Concession for journeys before the 9:30am start time. The County Council has decided in their wisdom, to withdraw the benefit for all registered blind travellers, caught up in the budget cuts. We had lost the concession because there was no data to show how many or indeed how few journeys the registered blind users have made, mixed in all the 750,000 bus journeys, in the last year, made before the 9:30am deadline. The vast majority of these numbers were the retired pensioners themselves.

We need to build up evidence to show to the Council that there are a very small number of blind people travelling before the 9:30am and more importantly show how vital this benefit is to us.

Some of the advantages reported by members as follows :

· Get to College, to start at 9am. Blind Students are trying very hard to better themselves and now have to find the extra money out of their own hard pressed benefits to pay for the journey cost.

· Do voluntary work. Quite a number of volunteers who like to give something back to the community needs to start work and this means catching an earlier bus.

· Do shopping before the rush. Most often the best times to do shopping is just after when the shops open, while there isn?t too many customers about and assistance is easier to obtain.

· Attend exercise classes. Doing exercises is just as important for the blind as to other people but perhaps even more important as it is sometimes difficult trying to maintain our health.

· Seeking Jobs. Attending interviews sometimes require an early start and the extra travel costs is not the ideal incentive for us to keep looking for work, is it?

For all blind and partially sighted people, there is no other choice to making these journeys, without paying the huge cost of taxi including the slightly less expensive community transport like Door to Door, Dial a ride, and Transport Plus (formerly known as Car Link). We cannot afford a car or drive it anywhere, at any time, we therefore rely on Public Transport completely, to get us to do our daily living, whether it is a chore like shopping or exercise to keep healthy.

It is £4 for a Great Yarmouth to Norwich journey with First Bus (apparently they don?t offer half price) and £3.70 with Anglian Buses but they do offer half price so it is actually £1.90 which is very good of them. Well done Anglian Bus & Coach Limited, see http://www.anglianbus.co.uk/timetables.

We need to collect all bus tickets from everyone who has to make the early journey and we can then present the tickets as evidence.

Please let us know if you make a journey before 9:30am, we will be doing a telephone survey soon to ask our members.

Thank you.

Shaun McGarry, Vice Chairman

Great Yarmouth VIP User Group

01493 60 22 72 — 07 985 916 244

vicechair@gyvipusergroup.org.uk

http://www.gyvipusergroup.org.uk/ www.gyvipusergroup.org.uk

*** Achieving Respect and Understanding for Visually Impaired People ***

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