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Bus pass bust-up as passengers wait FIVE YEARS longer for ticket to ride

Bus pass bust-up as passengers wait FIVE YEARS longer for ticket to ride

It’s the barmy bus-t up that is driving older passengers crazy.

Because Birmingham’s army of over-60s are having to wait up to five years LONGER for a free bus pass than their peers in some of the country’s biggest cities.

In the West Midlands, passengers do not qualify for a complimentary ticket to ride until they turn 65.

But the benchmark age is just 60 in London, Liverpool, Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland.

Now campaigners have demanded action from Transport for West Midlands and the region’s seven councils to end the anomoly.

The Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) group believes the bus pass problem compounds other issues they face following the decision to raise their retirement age to 66 by 2020.



They handed a letter to Mayor Andy Street, who leads West Midlands Transport.

Group co-ordinator Bridget Green said: “Our generation has worked hard and contributed to our city but has been left high and dry by successive governments.

“Under the present system eligibility is no longer based on reaching the age of 60.

“The concession is now awarded in line with the pensionable age of woman, whether you are male or female.

“Therefore you can find an anomaly whereby a man has a bus pass before his state pension age, whilst a woman can only get it when they reach their state pension age.”

They point out that some men qualify for a free bus pass two years before retirement whereas women have to wait.



Waspi protesters meet West Midlands Mayor Andy Street

“Please help all West Midlands women affected by these unfair pension parity arrangements.

“If you were able to give these women a bus pass, because you will have the authority to divert funds to do so, that would be such a boost.

“A bus pass would mean that going to interviews, looking for work and visiting their families could be done more frequently and with great dignity.

“This is a great opportunity to right wrongs and be seen to represent the ordinary person.”

Earlier this year the Mayor and the transport authority announced that 31,000 apprentices, aged 16 to 18, could have half-price travel on the buses to give them a boost.

A spokesman for Mr Street said the mayor was considering the WASPI request.

There have also been calls for the Government to fund a national bus pass scheme to prevent the variations from city to city.

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