FREE TRAVEL SCHEME MUST BE FUNDED - HOWARTH

January 7, 2008 5:47 PM
David Howarth MP

David Howarth MP

David Howarth, the MP for Cambridge has said he will write to Government Ministers at the Department of Transport to justify their funding formula for the free bus pass scheme for pensioners.

There is a funding gap in Cambridge for the new scheme under which from 1 April, all over 60s and the disabled will be able to travel for free. The Council estimates that it will receive £648,000 this year from the government for this scheme but the likely costs will be £1,452,000.

District councils must pay for all journeys started within their borders, so Cambridge City Council is forced to pay for the bus home for the many people who come into Cambridge from outside.

Mr Howarth said:"It is clearly unfair to the residents of Cambridge to have to pay for the travel of those travelling home after a trip to the City. It is another example of a national funding formula leaving City residents in the lurch.

"I will be writing to Government ministers to ask them how they arrived at these figures and why the present system is so unfair to Cambridge. I want to ensure that the free bus pass scheme is properly funded so that Cambridge City Council is not left with a huge shortfall."

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