West Midlands pensioners' free travel threatened

Midland Metro tram Free tram travel for over 65s could be scrapped in the West Midlands

Related Stories

Free tram and train travel for over 65s could stop in the West Midlands, as part of potential cost-cutting ideas.

Centro said it had to save £14m, almost 10% of its annual budget.

Other ideas include children paying two thirds of the adult bus fare rather than half fare, and reducing the grant to the ring and ride service.

Campaigners said cutting free travel would be "a major problem". Centro said "everything" was up for consideration.

Its members will meet on Monday to decide which proposals will be put out to consultation.

'Dramatic impact'

Centro chairman John McNicholas said the free over 65s bus pass was "safe" as part of the statutory services it provides on behalf of the government.

But he added a decision by the seven councils which fund Centro to give it less money would have "a dramatic impact" on how it delivers services.

A Centro spokesman added: "We're having to do [this] with a very heavy heart. Unfortunately, the financial situation is such we have nowhere else to turn."

Sid Ashby, from West Midlands Pensioners Convention UK, said it would be "a tragedy" if the ring and ride grant was reduced.

He added: "It would cause real hardship... because the fact is our poorer sections of our population just haven't got the money to spare."

Centro is responsible for bus, rail and Midland Metro tram transport in the West Midlands.

It is funded by Birmingham City Council, Coventry City Council, Dudley Borough Council, Sandwell Borough Council, Solihull Borough Council, Walsall Borough Council and Wolverhampton City Council.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More England stories



  • Peaky Blinders publicity shotBrum do

    Why is the Birmingham accent so difficult to mimic?

  • Oliver CromwellA brief history

    The 900 year story behind the creation of a UK parliament

  • Image of Ankor Wat using lidarJungle Atlantis

    How lasers have revealed an ancient city beneath the forest

  • TheatreBard taste? Watch

    Are trailer videos on social media spoiling theatre?

  • Agents with the US Secret Service, such as this one, are responsible for guarding the presidentHard at work

    White House break-in adds to Secret Service woes

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.