Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Bus passes

One of the good things about being sixty plus is that you are entitled to a bus pass, which means that, within Wales, your bus journeys are free of charge and that even applies if you venture over the border into 'that there England', as long as your journey begins and ends in Wales.
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.


4 comments:

Yorkshire Pudding said...

It is a kind of apartheid isn't it? An -ism. Many academic studies have demonstrated that a significant percentage of the populace do not own computers or use them. Disregarding that reality is the height of bureaucratic arrogance, demonstrating not just a lack of understanding but a lack of compassion too.

Jenny said...

Yes and it seems to happen more and more. Customers/clients/whatever they want to call us, don't seem to matter any more.

gemmak said...

Wow, you still blog! I kind of wish sometime that I had carried on!

Tasker Dunham said...

Bus passes: one of my biggest bugbears. Most of our village buses have been cut too, or services combined so it takes an hour to get anywhere when it used to take 20 minutes. And there are none after 6 o'clock. It pees me off that in London a bus pass can be worth thousands in free travel on fantastic services.

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