Anger over bus pass changes

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A DISABLED man who uses a bus pass to get to work has been told he must now buy tickets as the pass cannot be used before 9.30am.

Russell Bradnam, 28, of Periman Close, Newmarket, travels by bus from Newmarket to Cambridge every day to work at Cambridgeshire County Council. He has suffered from a benign brain tumour since he was 15 years old and is unable to drive.

He has been using the concessionary bus pass since March when a family member told him he was entitled to have one. But in April buses stopped accepting the pass before 9.30am and he now has to pay for tickets.

Mr Bradnam said he was “absolutely fuming.”

“All of a sudden the buses have stopped accepting my pass. I can use it to come home on the bus but I have to pay to get to work, either £4.20 or £5.40 for a return ticket. If I pay everyday it makes my bus pass completely useless.

“I can’t drive because of my condition. Why have the pass if I can’t use it to help me in my life? This suggests that if you are disabled you have to work after 9.30am, I can’t see what the point of it is.”

Andy Campbell, managing director of Stagecoach East, said: “We abide by the rules set by the local authorities. Last year bus passes had all-day travel, but from April this year bus passes have gone back to the national rules, which include travel after 9.30am on weekdays.”

A Suffolk County Council spokeswoman said: “Due to reduced Government funding the council decided to provide the national statutory scheme for both age related and disabled passes.

“A passenger will be able to use their pass to travel between the hours of 9.30am and 11pm weekdays and all day weekends and Bank Holidays.

If a particular village does not have a bus to any destination between 9.30am and 11.59am, but does have one before 9.30am then travel will be allowed on the pre-9.30am journey.”