Labour to offer free bus travel to Under 25’s

Discussion in 'Buses & Coaches' started by njtruscott, 12 Apr 2018.

  1. duncombec

    duncombec Member

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    As it happens, I was considering this last night. It often seems to me that those most in need of assistance, support, etc. - in this debate their buss pass - are those who are least likely to make a fuss, almost as though they are too embarrassed to be seen accepting the benefit. 85-year old Granny Dryden who desperately needs her pass to do her once weekly shop (independently, as alluded to by Typhoon in a later post) won't say anything, whilst 65-year-old Granny Smith, who still owns a car uses the bus to travel to her part-time job is the first to complain that she can't also use it on the train/tram/before 9.30/on the tourist bus.

    I foresee the same being true of under-25s if this policy ever takes off. Those who really benefit will accept whatever they are given and be thankful, whilst those most able to travel in other ways will start demanding why they can't use it on the train/tram/until age 40.
     
  2. Robertj21a

    Robertj21a Established Member

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    Note that it is a proper, arms length, company - not the council as such. It seems that many people simply can't understand the difference.
     
  3. Dai Corner

    Dai Corner Established Member

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    Indeed.

    Many concessionary pass holders must think they can only use the 'Council' buses as their competitors have been putting notices on their buses stating that they accept them too.

    We're getting a bit off-topic for this thread. If anyone wants to discuss ex-municipal bus companies I suggest starting a new one.
     
  4. LateThanNever

    LateThanNever Member

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    Money does grow on trees of course. And yes there is a magic money tree, but banks and this government don't like to let you know. We don't tax and spend and never have - how are you going to pay your taxes if the government hasn't first created the pounds foy you to do so?
    See http://www.progressivepulse.org/economics/welcome-to-the-money-factory
     
  5. Robertj21a

    Robertj21a Established Member

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    Not sure it's particularly off-topic when the Labour plan relates only to 'where services are brought under public ownership'. It's important that people understand what that proviso means.
     
  6. NorthernSpirit

    NorthernSpirit On Moderation

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    I don't think any independants will be happy about being forced to hand over their business to councils. We need competition to keep the market alive and to encourage companies to use their inititive to innotive their operation.

    This idea of giving under 25's free travel will end in tears, as kids will be out travelling around just for the sake of it as its free (at the courtousy of the taxpayer) and since its free the fares will rise so your £4.50 ticket would become £14.50 just to make up the loss as those aged between 26 and retirement age are effectively paying twice. Some operators will withdraw the service if its not making any money or they'll simply go under creating mass job loses. I can't imagine seeing Conservative run councils willing to run, what should be, a private for profit enterpise. OK, North Yorkshire Council Council do run their own services using the IPT Fleet but they ownly do this half heartedly otherwise people (i.e the electorate) are cut off.

    Its short term gain for long term pain.
     
  7. radamfi

    radamfi Established Member

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    Competition is already largely absent with the vast majority of routes served by just one company with most towns being overwhelmingly dominated by one operator.
     
  8. Dentonian

    Dentonian Established Member

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    Doesn't really happen in practice, though. With very few exceptions, the only people I see travelling short journeys (less than 1 km) are people jumping on 192s and Hyde Road buses at M'cr Piccadilly/Newton Street to travel one stop to the Rail Station, and kids jumping on and hen jumping off a couple of stops later cos their mate has rung and told them to get off. Most "over 60s" travel all the way to the nearest sizeable shopping centre.
     
  9. ChathillMan

    ChathillMan Member

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    Genuinely struggling with the economics of it

    £1.4bn between 13 million eligable people is £107pp (its still not clear if its a year or overall). I assume it is per year.

    Since this is really about getting council owned bus operators, lets look at one. A Network Warrington Young Persons annual ticket is £460.

    If a council owned operator is charging £460 for an annual ticket for the target market, but the government is only providing £107pppy towards it. What makes up the shortfall? Am I missing something here?
     
  10. Dentonian

    Dentonian Established Member

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    Two seperate arguments really. NO operator will be happy to hand over their business without what they see is adequate compensation. OTOH, the "experiment" of competition has failed the vast majority of bus users over the last 32 years.

    I agree that in practice, someone will have to pay financially (as well as politically) for this idea, and like everything else in UK public transport, it will be adult full bus fare payers who will lose out; Higher fares (although this is getting unsustainable, now); more ASB, more demonisation from the Media/Motoring lobby.
     
  11. RJ

    RJ Established Member

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    I don't know about that. From my perspective, the way the system is set up actually provides a disincentive to make any additional repayments.

    If you have the money to pay it all back at once, there's no point. That money can be used to generate money several times the amount of the interest charged - above board and not much more risk than leaving it in a current account. If the interest is something like £20 a month but you generate £400 a month from the loan, best to leave them to take their deductions and earn their interest. Though that should be reviewed if the repayment terms/interest rates change drastically!
     
    Last edited: 14 Apr 2018
  12. The Ham

    The Ham Established Member

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    There's no reason to make over payments on student loans for most people, maybe if you are going to end up just clearing your loan, but given that it doesn't really count against you for much (the payments are taken on board for mortgage purposes, but the "debt" isn't unlike other loans).

    I'd rather put the money into savings and then be able to use it to make extra payments on a loan that you don't really have to pay off (unless you earn a fairly high salary).

    The point about those on high salaries pay it off rarely has nothing to do with them making extra payments to clear it (although some might) rather they just earn enough to clear it quickly through their minimum payments.
     
  13. JohnR

    JohnR Member

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    Total Bus Operator fare box revenue outside London is only £1.99 billion. The rest of their income is made up of Public Transport Support (£384 million), Concessionary Travel (£796 million) and Bus Service Operators Grant (£252million).

    So a figure of £1.4billion for the cost of the under 25 concessionary travel scheme doesnt seem wrong. (are 70% of fare paying passengers under 25?) Even if young people travelled more - this would not impact on fares unless costs increased (ie operators had to use bigger buses, or run more frequent services). And of course, they would then receive more money from Government.
     
  14. Warwick

    Warwick Member

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    On the naughty step again.
    Free bus travel for under 25s eh? Once again Labour is proving that it doesn't need lessons in how to spend other people's money. Cheap vote grabbing stunt which will rebound on the travelling public.
     
  15. Dai Corner

    Dai Corner Established Member

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    And would give the State control of the bus industry too, deciding on service levels, wages, investment etc.
     
  16. The Ham

    The Ham Established Member

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    In other words, assuming £1.4 billion cost for under 26's, for about £0.6 billion extra EVERYONE could then have free bus travel.
     
  17. JohnR

    JohnR Member

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    I'm sure people said the same thing about the over-60s bus pass....
     
  18. JohnR

    JohnR Member

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    Its something that could be looked at. Perhaps for shorter journeys, with a small fixed fare for longer ones? We need something radical to get people out of their cars.
     
  19. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    There is increasing evidence that young people are not getting into said cars in the first place. If that was the aim, those in their 30s, 40s and 50s are a better target.
     
  20. Dai Corner

    Dai Corner Established Member

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    Did they? I can't remember. The difference is that the current proposal is dependent on local authorities franchising or owning the bus operators.

    This person in his late 50s can't wait until he gets his bus pass on his 60th birthday. He won't be selling his car though. He will feel a little guilty as he soaks up his Council's public transport budget on leisure trips and sees younger, less well off, people paying their fares.
     
  21. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    He might not be, but I bet he'll use the bus more once it's free.

    My Dad is one of those people who wouldn't previously have been seen dead on a bus other than an airport shuttle from the car park.

    Now he has his free pass, he chooses the bus first if it's an option because it's free. And he's not badly off - him and my Mum are presently spending what feels like half their lives swanning off around the world on various kinds of holiday.

    They haven't sold their car (though they do only have one between them now) but they use it a lot less.

    Don't underestimate the power of a cost - any cost - in putting people off using something. The "bag tax" is probably the best example of this - the utterly insignificant and inconsequential sum of £0.05 makes people think twice if they want a bag rather than having one anyway because it's free.
     
  22. Robertj21a

    Robertj21a Established Member

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    H

    Surely, he/she has to wait a long way past 60 nowadays (except in London) ?
     
  23. ashworth

    ashworth Established Member

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    Are you sure? I’m now 61 but I won’t be getting my bus pass until I reach State Pension age, which for me will be 66. The age when you will get a bus pass is due to continue to rise in line with the state pension age. I was in a job where I could retire on a work pension at 60 but I will not get my state pension until I am 66. Even though I am retired, at times during the middle part of the day I often feel that I am the only person on the bus who is paying! I could easily get annoyed about this but then I think to myself how fortunate I am to be able to retire early on an adequate pension for my needs. I feel sorry for the younger generation who will not be able to retire early like I did.
     
  24. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    I don't actually mind that much as I think we have to be realistic. It's simply impossible for people to spend only half their life working if they are not willing to invest half their pay to pay for it.
     
  25. Warwick

    Warwick Member

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    On the naughty step again.

    State control. Two words that guarantee shoddy goods and service.
     
  26. Dai Corner

    Dai Corner Established Member

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    I understand its 60 in Wales where I live.
     
  27. Typhoon

    Typhoon Member

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    According to .gov.uk, the scenario you describe is true for England (so probably most readers); it is aged 60 in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

    Worryingly, according to the same source the pension age is 'under review'!
     
  28. Dai Corner

    Dai Corner Established Member

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    That's what I've done (with my employers chipping in some of it via pension schemes).
     
  29. overthewater

    overthewater Established Member

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    There is a review in scotland right now that could increase the age.
     
  30. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    50% of income? That's highly disciplined (but will give you an early and luxurious retirement!)
     

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