Comments for en-gb 30 Sat 29 Aug 2015 09:58:35 GMT+1 A feed of user comments from the page found at elcej 29 DDI remember when you could travel on the buses anywhere in Sheffield for just 2 pence. OK, that was in the late 1970's but even allowing for inflation that's only about 15p today.What a great idea! Wed 20 Oct 2010 10:59:19 GMT+1 DoctorDolots If Irene Ralph and her friends feel they don't need free bus travel, they don't have to take advantage of it, they don't even have to apply for bus passes, it's not compulsory. I don't need one at the moment so haven't applied, but can see the time when buses could be my only means of travel.23. edwardjecleIt's been done, by a number of socialist councils before car ownership became as widespread as today [I think it was back in the sixties but I could be wrong], google might find some mention of it. This was also in the days when socialists didn't rub shoulders with millionaires and didn't jump to the tabloid tune, but had principles. It worked perfectly and was cost effective with regard to congestion, road damage and maintenance, and of course fuel consumption. Nowadays we have congestion charges and the roads everywhere blocked for part of the day while many buses run almost empty in some areas. Chances of the idea getting any exposure these days is nil I imagine. Wed 20 Oct 2010 10:00:17 GMT+1 HenryCrun When my sister was a councillor in Bedford a few years ago she said the council were checking on the claims one of the local bus companies was making for reimbursement for bus pass travel, and my elderly mother was asked to keep her tickets and pass them on to my sister, who duly passed them to council officers. My compos mentis Mum's travel never varied; home to town, then town to home, but many of her tickets were printed out for extra fare stages. Either my Mum was indulging in secret assignations she preferred not to tell us about, or the driver was making mistakes, or the bus company was upping its claims on the council. What this makes clear is that those rich people offering to give up their bus passes to save the country money needn't bother. All they have to do is leave the bus pass at home and buy a ticket on the bus. It's the usage that costs, not the pass. In Florence, Italy, there are a few small buses circulating around the centre that are free to use. It is one of the most pedestrian and cycle friendly cities I know. The rest of Europe should take note, including the public-transport-hating, friends-of (we have never been on a train)-Thatcher Tory party. Mon 18 Oct 2010 22:42:54 GMT+1 Sindy 26. edwardjecleIt reminds me of the late arrivals at the Socialist Ball ... 'And now, please welcome Mr and Mrs Bennett-not-that-old-tosh-again, and their son, Gordon Bennett...' etc. Mon 18 Oct 2010 15:19:18 GMT+1 elcej 25 TEYour explanation @25 reminds me of Humphrey Littleton's explanation of the game "one song to the tune of another" Mon 18 Oct 2010 14:47:56 GMT+1 U14638904 Glad you are still here ej.My 14, here answers the question you raise at the end of your 13, here.If the Mods take the view that a discussion about the Lib Dems is in order in order to answer questions you legitimately raise here, 14 will reappear. And it IS the Lib Dems who are helping the Tories end some universal benefits.If 14 is Mod-removed here I'll re-model the reply to take in some other stuff and post it on FB and let you know that I have, here. So I planned to say. But it is taking so long or the Mods to confirm or disconfirm your view (and p'haps some other view by AN Other) that I have posted a post containing the answer to your question anyway. It's at: Mon 18 Oct 2010 13:47:33 GMT+1 Mindclearly There are people I know of who qualify for a bus pass and work earning a good salary yet they get subsidised bus/train travel because of this scheme. I feel that that there are students/ young poeple in their early twenties or late teens starting off on their career who would be better benerificary than some of the people who qualify therefore the whole system is flawed. It is a needed service like child allowance is for those it will maker a difference to their lives but there is a whole grey area on whether it should be provided for those who who work or are retired and resonably well off and own a car. Maybe one way to qualify would be to return your driving licence for it!!!.... Mon 18 Oct 2010 06:35:54 GMT+1 elcej To Jennifer and Eddie.I've been thinking more about the idea I posted @13 above and perhaps it might be a good subject for another iPM broadcast.Is it a realistic idea to offer free transport for everyone... paid for out of income tax from everyone?... or is it economically untenable? How much would the rise in income tax be to fund a 'free terrestrial transport" policy?I've no idea but I can't help but think that those that use public transport would win. It would also entice people out of their cars. Do you have a spare bloodhound that could investigate? Sun 17 Oct 2010 20:48:17 GMT+1 elcej Blimey!after my @21, did TheEqualiser self-censor his @14 or was that someone else?If it was mac, that would be a first! Sun 17 Oct 2010 17:50:58 GMT+1 elcej 14. TheEqualiser.I think perhaps you posted on the wrong blog.This blog is for comments about universal free bus passes; not the LibDems.Perhaps you could remove the comment (just click on "complain") and re-post somewhere else. Sun 17 Oct 2010 16:10:30 GMT+1 The Stainless Steel Cat My mum used her bus pass a lot, and for a while was the only time she got to see her friends - actually on the bus. Sadly now her health's deteriorated to the point that when she gets out of the house it has to be by taxi; she'd be exhausted just walking to the bus stop. Sun 17 Oct 2010 15:24:55 GMT+1 The Stainless Steel Cat EJ (13):That idea would be easier (and a lot cheaper) if we still had British Rail and regulated bus companies. Sadly, the Train Operating Companies and the bus companies (often the same thing) are too powerful now - witness the SNP's pre-power commitment to re-regulate the buses in Scotland which was quietly dropped after they achieved government in Scotland.(Entirely nothing to do with donations from a multi-millionaire bus company owner. That suggestion's right out of order and I'd never put that forward as a notion.) Sun 17 Oct 2010 15:21:32 GMT+1 davmcn Sid 11, I'll see you and raise you, 3/11. Sun 17 Oct 2010 11:40:23 GMT+1 Anne P I had to use the Docklands Light Railway recently, amazed to find it was walk on walk off with no barriers. Absolutely agree with edwardj about more tax to fund a fully free transport network. Although there would be rural issues to solve, I imagine a network of postbuses and restoring the old delivery van system - a sort of mobile village shop cum minibus. We have bus passes and live in a village with a very limited service. Until we got the passes I didn't even know what time the bus ran or to where. Now although we still use the car when we have large amounts to transport, major food shop (now reduced from weekly) building materials etc we use the bus whenever we can. If we go to London on the train there's a trade off however, as we can get a bus in the morning, but they don't run in the evening - so do we park all day for £11 or get a taxi home for about the same amount? Similarly getting home from an evening in town is not possible by bus and walking through the woods in the dark is hazardous because of traffic. Matinees at the local theatre are popular with the elderly who come by bus and can get home before dark.One of the biggest benefits has been for my husband who has lost about two and a half stone over the summer by walking into town. At first he could only manage a mile or so and then got on the bus. Now he can do five miles into town and sometimes walks part of the way back as well.There is no doubt at all in my mind of the benefits, personal, social and environmental of encouraging everyone onto public transport. Cutting the bus passes would ultimately simply add to the costs of the NHS. Sun 17 Oct 2010 08:40:33 GMT+1 Alan_N 13 - That's a great idea. The problem would be, I suspect, that our political masters (sic) wouldn't be able to resist tinkering and so the sum made available to the operators would become a party political issue which would lead to underinvestment etc etc. Remember good old British Rail? "We're geting there," only they weren't.And of course the Daily Mail would complain that it is unfair to a stay at home mother of three whose SO earns 44,001 compared to some other equally unlikely combination of income and numbers of children... Sun 17 Oct 2010 08:28:20 GMT+1 annasee edwardjecle - YES! - and that would also mean an end to the intensely irritating ticket barriers at the railway stations that I have just done battle with. Ticket inserted, spat out of machine. "Not readable". Staff member (one of two who have to stand by the barriers for just such an occasion as this) walks over with key, opens barrier for me. This repeated three times for my journeys in last two days. Tonight, staff member still standing by the barriers, but all gates now unlocked. Guess they've given up on the technology side tonight.Surely they'd almost SAVE money by not paying the supervisory staff, and not buying the barriers & ticket machines if your scheme was adopted? ;-) Sat 16 Oct 2010 23:50:59 GMT+1 U14638904 This post has been Removed Sat 16 Oct 2010 23:42:11 GMT+1 elcej Can't remember. Have I droned on somewhere around here about my (and a few others) idea?Free public terrestrial transport for all UK residents. Old and young. Rich and poor. Employed and unemployed. Free for everyone.Here's the theory.You go to work. Earn money. Pay tax on that money. Then buy your bus/train ticket.....or.... You go to work. Earn money. Pay a bit more tax on that money. Then your bus/train ticket is free. The extra tax you pay covers the cost of the transport network.If you are the kind of ecologically sensitive person that leaves their car in the driveway and takes the bus or train then you'll be slightly better off.If you are the kind of person that shuns public transport and continues to take the car then you will be worse off. You will be paying for the public transport network AND for the cost of running your car. This will be the only way to persuade people out of their cars and so lower the carbon gases. The fatcats will be paying A LOT of money into the transport network as they are driven to work in their chauffeur driven limousine. If the retired get free transport paid for by tax payers. Why not free transport for everyone. It would massively reduce the cost of road building. I've thought this way for years and I live in a rural area that has little public transport.Now lucien desgai. Do you still think I'm a tory? Sat 16 Oct 2010 19:29:44 GMT+1 Alan_N 11 - That brought back a few memories - and a cold sweat!10 - "debauch the constitution." That one made me laugh out loud. More! More! Sat 16 Oct 2010 19:02:47 GMT+1 Sindy 3/10. See me. Sat 16 Oct 2010 18:47:36 GMT+1 U14638904 The price of bus fares, it's cheaper to take the car. And without bus passes the rich will.Of course with pension equality everyone or no one gets a bus pass depending on how the mony is dispensed.However our society is capable of distinguishing the different claims of different 80 year olds and discriminate between them. You need an Oxbridge degree and come from a lineage of bankers and aristos and to have married millions to explain why all 80 year olds shouldn't enjoy the same standard of livingand beleive it.Browne thinks the degrees the Cabinet have aren't worth a light, but evidently we're supposed to think their degrees labels them as entitled to debauch the constitution and fail to treat equals equally.Actually that arrogant sense of entitlement is how they got the degrees in the first place. And the job of supporting income inequality, which lies behind all discrimminations in the allocation of so-called universal benefits. Sat 16 Oct 2010 18:27:37 GMT+1 elcej Did I not mention she's Lady Penelope Creighton-Ward from Thunderbirds? Sat 16 Oct 2010 15:58:44 GMT+1 Alan_N Corr - very James Bond! Sat 16 Oct 2010 15:45:39 GMT+1 davmcn ej 6, Your mum has a flying car?! Sat 16 Oct 2010 15:38:04 GMT+1 elcej My mother is loaded....and she keeps her money to herself unfortunately!She has a car and flies abroad around 6 times a year on holiday.She has a free bus pass. She admits she could afford to pay but takes the bus pass anyway and uses it regularly. Well at least she's reducing carbon gases by taking the bus but I'd rather my taxes on my low salary weren't paying for her bus pass. Sat 16 Oct 2010 15:14:54 GMT+1 Alan_N 4 - Chickens I already have. Can I trade up for a goat?Thanks for putting me straight on the bus pass scheme. Seems to me the sensible idea is to find some relatively simple way of means testing every state handout and then ensuring that only he less well off get them. Sat 16 Oct 2010 10:51:33 GMT+1 davmcn Ln 3, Ah, you see, that was probably a Luton Tory leaflet. The St Albans Tory leaflets promise to cut everything. And the Lib Dem leaflets promise to both cut and not cut everything depending on the week they are delivered. Labour, on the other hand, promises a chicken in every garage and a car in every pot. Sat 16 Oct 2010 10:45:24 GMT+1 Looternite The bus pass it self costs next to nothing. The bus company only gets paid for the journey taken. The bus pass encourages older people to go out and keep mobile and older people are helping to keep the buses running. If a wealthy person leaves his large gas guzzler car behind and uses a bus then that is good for the enviroment.Before we jump to conclusions lets find out how many rich people actually use their bass passes. I suspect that hardly any wealthy people have ever got on a bus. The Tories made iron cast promises at the last election, it would be nice if they could at least keep one promise.I have a leaflet issued by the Tories at the last election and it says clearly:We will NOT cut the Winter Fuel Allowance.We will Not cut free TV licences.We will NOT cut free bus passes.We will NOT cut pensions or pension credit. Sat 16 Oct 2010 10:12:11 GMT+1 Anne P Agree about the higher rate tax payer cut-off, though not sure how you'd administer it cheaply when local authorities who issue the passes have no access to personal tax records (or do they?).But I thought that it was already the case that bus companies could only claim for actual journeys travelled - certainly here they ask for a destination and issue a ticket, which I thought was to enable the local authority to check the bus company reclaim. Sat 16 Oct 2010 08:43:29 GMT+1 Alan_N Surely the answer is simple. If the pensioner in question is a higher rate tax payer, no free bus pass. Not sure how much that would save but certainly Fred Goodwin would lose his but Jenny (the interviewee) could keep hers as it is quite clear that she needs it.Same principle should apply to all state benefits and the money saved could be used to increase the support paid to those pensioners who actually need it.Alternatively, instead of the government buying bus passes up front, they should insist that the bus companies charge only for journeys actually made and not for the pass itself. Bit like an oyster card, for those that travel around London. Sat 16 Oct 2010 07:37:27 GMT+1