ENCTS: "Abuse" and funding gaps

Discussion in 'Buses & Coaches' started by PeterC, 8 Jul 2019.

  1. PeterC

    PeterC Established Member

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    Mod Note: Posts #1 - #5 originally in this thread.

    As a pensioner from the Home Counties I get reallly p*ssed off when people start going on about how we abuse our ENCTS passes with day trips to the sea side. Even to get to our main hospital at Stoke Mandeville will involve three changes for most of the day and a lunchtime appointment if you want to get home the same day without a taxi.

    As to tourist destinations I could manage St Albans with two changes but without time for much more than a long lunch if I want get back in time for my last bus.
     
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  3. AM9

    AM9 Established Member

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    There's no such thing as abuse of an ENCTS pass! There's fraudulent use which is punishable by confiscation or worse, but 'using' it according to its terms and conditions which is fine. This self-righteous myth that working (and paying) bus users have a higher claim to bus access fails to address why disabled and senior citizens were given the passes in the first place, i.e to enable them to remain mobile. It was made universal because:
    a) many people were unable to venture much more than a short walk from their homes for essential appointments and shopping requirements
    b) administering a means test that not only recognised the blunt tool of income/assets but also addressed individual need in the context of home location, location of services and shops, actual bus services etc., but also the individuals fitness, would probably made the scheme unworkable.​
    So we have a system that gives everybody access. Some choose not to use it, but if the many who have access to a private motor vehicle were suddenly forced to drive at times and in places where they didn't feel confident, (or more importantly shouldn't feel confident), these self-righteous drivers and pedestrians may find themselves in a much worse position on the roads.
    The real villain is the government's refusal to adequately fund a benefit that it doesn't have the guts to withdraw.
     
  4. WatcherZero

    WatcherZero Established Member

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    The funding gap for ENCTS Outside London has indeed ballooned from £200m in 2016 to £652m last year, its more than is spent on all other subsidised services, the spending for other concessionary groups passes who have just as much need for them has had to be cut from £115m in 2014/15 to £85m in 2017/18, while the support for rural and lifeline bus services has been cut by £122m to £250m since 2010. Essentially ENCTS at £779m costs three times as much as subsidised bus services £247m. Since ENCTS was first introduced spending on subsidised bus services has risen by 20% while spending on concessionary travel has risen by 300%, meanwhile actual bus ridership has declined by about 15%.
     
    Last edited: 8 Jul 2019
  5. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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    It's depressing that people even regard a trip to the seaside as an abuse of the ENCTS pass in the first place. Perhaps they think it's there for pensioners to be transported to the coal mines and mills for a twelve hour shift instead.
     
  6. AM9

    AM9 Established Member

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    At some point, the correct subsidy for all bus travel will be seen as essential to reduce carbon emissions and with the inevitable pricing off the roads of gross polluting modes, i.e. the stick, reducing the cost of travel by a greener method will be the carrot. This is already underway in effect in London. As avoidable carbon emissions rise up the social debate, the trend will accelerate through the home counties, eventually reaching across rural areas when politicians and electorate both realise that climate change is the real enemy, not local exhaust pollution.
     

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