Changes to bus passes for elderly

Older people with bus passes will be able to travel free to early morning hospital appointments from September 1.

At present, anyone with an older person’s bus pass can travel free in Northumberland after 9am, Monday to Friday, and on all other days.

But those who have an early morning hospital appointment will have to pay to use the bus before that time.

However, a new arrangement by Northumberland County Council means that from September 1, any older person who needs to travel before 9am can do so for free, if they show the bus driver their hospital appointment card or letter.

It will apply to any bus journey that starts in Northumberland.

And the move has been welcomed by local councillors.

Newsham member Coun Deirdre Campbell, policy board member for street care and environment, said they were delighted to be bringing back an old scheme.

She said: “We know that many older people need to travel by bus to early morning hospital appointments and at the moment they have to pay full fare.

“There used to be a scheme like this running in parts of the county some years ago and we are very pleased to say we are now introducing this for any bus journey starting in Northumberland.”