I had a bus pass and I used it but then, a couple of years ago, our local buses vanished. From having a bus running almost past our house every half hour, we suddenly, with no warning, found ourselves without buses, busless, sans buses, which was a bit of a blow, but which was replicated in several other areas of Wrexham county. Unfortunately, this part of the country relies on private bus companies, which bid for contracts and receive little or no financial support, which means that they focus on the more lucrative routes and ditch the others. There are other routes within walking distance, but then a couple of weeks ago, I discovered that, following the example of the buses, my bus pass had also disappeared. Where it's gone, I have no idea, but as it happens, all Welsh bus passes are to be replaced with new style ones by the end of the year and everyone was urged to apply online on the Transport for Wales website, which promptly crashed and remained crashed for over a week.
It did occur to some people to wonder what provision would be made for those who are not computer savvy, do not own a computer and do not use the internet, and bearing in mind that the concessionary bus passes are mainly used by the elderly, this was a valid concern.
'Well, that's tough' seemed to be the answer to that one and it was only after representations from Age Concern and other organisations, that it was grudgingly agreed that paper application forms would be made available, with the warning that it would take a while for this to happen and much longer for them to be processed compared to online applications.
I would describe myself as a 'computer anorak' and proud of it, but it saddens me to see an organisation like Transport for Wales assuming, without, it seems, any consultation, that everyone, young or old, has easy access to the internet and can be required to make their applications through this means only.